Gymnast Yuri van Gelder has lost the interlocutory proceeding he had sought against NOC*NSF. This means that NOC*NSF is not obliged to reconsider its decision to disqualify Yuri van Gelder from participating in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The court of Gelderland issued the verdict in abridged form on Friday, 12 August 2016, and the full judgment was released today.
Dutch participants in the Olympic Games are expected to make every effort to ensure that they are capable of the maximum athletic performance. They are also expected to behave as a member of the team, both during the competitions and elsewhere. Van Gelder has not fulfilled these obligations. Despite repeated warnings, he is alleged to have spent a night out drinking in the middle of a training and competition schedule. He then did not appear at a training session the next day. Van Gelder may be expected to have been aware that a training session had been scheduled. Instead of attending the training session, Van Gelder remained in bed until 15:00, apparently to sleep off a hangover. This behaviour undermines the team’s efforts, and taking Yuri van Gelder’s past behaviour into consideration, this has resulted in a breach of trust with his trainer and with NOC*NSF. The situation is only exacerbated by the fact that Van Gelder has stated that he does not feel that he did anything wrong.