|Former still rings world champion Yuri van Gelder has been yanked from the Dutch world team for "medical reasons of a personal nature," the team manager told the media Tuesday.
IG ONLINE UPDATE: 2005 still rings world champion Yuri van Gelder has been removed from the Dutch team for "medical reasons of a personal nature," team manager Hans Gootjes said during a press conference Tuesday night at Rotterdam's Ahoy Arena.
"The team performance was at stake," Gootjes said.
Gootjes declined to extrapolate on van Gelder's medical reasons, saying, "That would violate Yuri's privacy." He said van Gelder's lawyer, Cor Hellingman, is his official spokesman now and not the Dutch federation.
Dutch media reported that Hellingman declined further comment at his client's request.
This is an update to a previous article. The original article is below.
The Netherlands has withdrawn former world champion Yuri van Gelder from the world championships that begin Saturday in Rotterdam.
Dutch team manager Hans Gootjes told the media Tuesday that the federation had removed van Gelder from the team. Gootjes declined to give an explanation, saying only that van Gelder was removed from the team for "compelling reasons."
A press conference on the decision to withdraw van Gelder — one of the Dutch team's top hopes for a medal in Rotterdam — is scheduled for 10 p.m. Tuesday at the Ahoy Arena.
Van Gelder is the most decorated Dutch gymnast in modern history, winning gold medals on still rings at the 2005 Worlds and 2005, 2008 and 2009 Europeans. He recently made his return to international competition following a one-year ban for testing positive for cocaine at the 2009 Dutch Gymnastics Championships. Van Gelder publicly referred to his choice to use cocaine as "stupid" and "idiotic."
In early September, he won the gold medal on still rings at the Ghent World Cup in Belgium.
A documentary about his comeback, "Hanging in Error: The Return of Yuri van Gelder," is scheduled to air Wednesday night on Dutch TV. A documentary crew followed van Gelder for eight months, including filming his follow-up visit to the Scottish drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility where he spent three months undergoing treatment.