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Olympics

Dutch gymnast expelled from Rio after night of drinking

Yuri van Gelder, who's previously been caught using cocaine, was sent home after celebrating getting to the men's rings final with a night partying in Rio

Dutch gymnast expelled from Rio after night of drinking
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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.

Night of drinking

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

Artistic gymnast Yuri van Gelder of Netherlands practice on the rings during a training session for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

"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. "In sports terms this is a disaster, but we had no other choice given the violation of our values."

Previously expelled for cocaine use 

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.

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.