Yuri van Gelder caught using cocaine!

Wow. This never happens. USA Today reports:

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Dutch gymnast Yuri van Gelder, a former European and world champion in the rings event, has acknowledged using cocaine after he failed a drug test ahead of the Netherlands championships in Rotterdam last month.

He faces a two-year ban from the sport.

Van Gelder, 26, says he used the drug “for fun” and not to enhance his performance.

“It was incredibly stupid,” he told a news conference in Arnhem on Monday. “I am very sorry … I have to accept the consequences.”

Van Gelder won gold in the rings in 2005 at the European Championships in Decebren, Hungary and at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Melbourne, Australia the same year.

A two-year ban — and the ignomy of being known as one of the sport’s few drug users. Gymnasts don’t mess around with drugs.

Van Gelder was a contender for the rings title at this year’s worlds and at the 2010 Worlds, to be held in his home country, as well. What a shame.

Yuri van Gelder, 2009 European Championships Event Finals, Rings (1st):


16 Responses to “Yuri van Gelder caught using cocaine!”

  1. Jason Says:

    You said “gymnasts don’t mess around with drugs.” But, didn’t Sean Townsend, Brett McClure, and Jason Gatson all three test positive for marijuana a few years back? I guess marijuana isn’t as serious as cocaine…but I was still really disappointed when I heard about that back in the day.

    • Blythe Says:

      You’re absolutely right, Jason. McClure, Gatson and Townsend were found to have trace amounts of marijuana in their systems back in January 2002. They all got three month suspensions/probations and swore never to let it happen again. But that’s the only other case I can think of. Can you think of any others?

      • J-Bod Says:

        I’m pretty sure those are the only three gymnasts I’ve heard of testing positive for drugs (besides van Gelder).

      • Ono No Komachi Says:

        Gervasio Deferr tested positive for Marijuana, but off the top of my head I cannot remember at which competition.

  2. TCO Says:

    Any possibility of a performance implication? Either in competition or from some sort of tie to other drugs or practices?

    • Blythe Says:

      One article said that van Gelder was using cocaine to help himself calm down before performances. That seems strange, though — he’d have to take the stuff several days before a competition in order for it not to be detected, so the chances of there being enough of it in his system to have any effect in competition would be next to none.

      My opinion only: If cocaine has this supposedly calming effect, I could see doing it right before a Worlds or Olympics (not that that makes it OK by any means). But at the Dutch nationals? Kind of a throwaway meet for a guy like van Gelder…

  3. TCO Says:

    just wondering if it might be somehow like a msadking agent or diueretic or somehow to counteract steroid side effects, like gyno (bitch tits). Or perhaps for the performance itself. Hadn’t thought of the calming effect (rings doesn’t seem like it needs that much except for the dismount). There’s also a possible stimulant effect (like speed).

    I don’t really think it was for performance, but just wanted to noodle the idea around…

    • Ono No Komachi Says:

      Cocaine is not a “masking agent”, not does it block the effects of steroids.

      It might enhance performance by giving a person more energy.

  4. George N Says:

    Well, well, what a surprise. I remember his gyno from a few years back. It was so obvious and I could not believe he has parading around in front of the cameras at that point with his singlet off.

    Some people truly are so dumb…

  5. TCO Says:

    I don’t see much gyno with him. Breasts look hard and masculine. Not the girly growths around the nipples. If he’s juicing, he seems to be using another agent to deal with the gyno (as most juicers do).

    On the cocaine, there was some other athlete in the news in a different sport who got busted for it. Makes me wonder if there is some reason for it.

  6. gymnast Yuri van Gelder suspended « Gymnastics Coaching Says:

    […] Gymblog. Thanks Mike […]

  7. George N Says:

    TCO, look at videos circa Aarhus worlds. He’s obviously had some cosmetic surgery since.

  8. gymnasticgirl Says:

    Van Gelder has got to be smart. He is showing an example to young kids and adults all over the world.

  9. TCO Says:

    George N: Could you link to the picture of Van Gelder that makes you suspicious? I showed this video to a colleague of mine who was in the NFL and familiar with seeing gyno and he said he did not see it in Van Gelder. Said that gyno would be lower and more hanging. (Of course this was an isolated time and also lack of gyno does not rule out steroid usage.)

    Here is some info on gyno (with pictures).


    I donno…maybe some of them look like Yuri. I am not an expert for sure…

  10. eufreedom Says:

    for the people asking about cocaine, it cannot mask steroids. It can however be used as a rather large energy bar.

    Steve from http://man-boob.org

  11. Augustina Yandura Says:

    I sincerely got a kick from your article. I don’t really have much to say in reply, I only want to comment to reply with wonderful operate. great luck in 2010.

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