Rio Olympics 2016: Drunk Dutch gymnast expelled for night of drinking in Rio

After qualifying for the men's rings final, Yuri van Gelder left the athletes village to go drinking, costing him his ...
IAN MACNICOL/GETTY IMAGES

After qualifying for the men's rings final, Yuri van Gelder left the athletes village to go drinking, costing him his place at the Olympics.

Dutch gymnast Yuri van Gelder has been expelled from the Olympics for "gravely" violating team rules by going out for a night of drinking in Rio after qualifying for the finals of the rings event, the Dutch team said.

The 33-year-old left the Olympic village on Saturday evening (Sunday morning NZ Time) and spent the night celebrating before he returned in the early hours of Sunday morning (Sunday afternoon NZT), violating rules concerning alcohol consumption and leaving the team base.

"It's terrible for Yuri, but this kind of behaviour is unacceptable," Dutch team chef de mission Maurits Hendriks said in a statement on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT). "In sports terms this is a disaster, but we had no other choice given the violation of our values."

Van Gelder, the rings world champion in 2005, has a previous instance of violating rules at a major sporting event. In 2009, he was suspended from the Dutch Gymnastics Union for taking cocaine three days before the national championships.

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The Dutch team has imposed strict living conditions on its athletes. According to media reports, they are forbidden from entering Rio for safety reasons, while athletes who have completed their events must return home to avoid distracting team mates.

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 - Reuters

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