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Suspended gymnast van Gelder wants back in at Rio games, lawyer says

Europe
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Amsterdam (dpa) - Dutch gymnast Yuri van Gelder, suspended from his country‘s Olympic team for a night-time alcohol-drinking episode in Rio, wants to return to continue competing, his lawyer said Wednesday.

The lawyer, Cor Hellingman, said in Amsterdam that he was consulting with van Gelder about "steps to make possible his participation in the finals."

Hellingman said that van Gelder, 33, would for the moment not be making any statements about the situation and wanted to "concentrate completely on the possibilities."

The remarks came a day after the Dutch Olympic team announced the suspension of van Gelder and ordered him to return home after the athlete had left the Olympic village and went on a night-time drinking tour with his Brazilian girlfriend. Team rules prohibit athletes who are still in competition from drinking alcohol and leaving the village.

Team officials said van Gelder had owned up to his night-time escapade, which had followed on his performance on the rings qualifying him for the men‘s rings finals set for August 15.

After the suspension announcement, van Gelder‘s manager, Orlando van den Bosch, had announced legal steps to be taken against the suspension. He said the Dutch Olympic team‘s regulation was only issued verbally, but not in writing.

It was not the first scandal involving van Gelder, who in 2005 was both world and European champion. In 2009 a doping control detected cocaine abuse, earning him a one-year suspension.

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