Photos have been spread across Britain's newspapers, showing what appears to be a very drunk Gijs Van Hoecke being carried out of a London club.
The National Post
says the photos show the 20-year old with his eyes closed being carried out of the nightclub by two others, including teammate Jonathan Dufrasne, with his trousers and shirt covered in liquid. The pictures which have been posted on the Daily Mail
website also show Van Hoecke's friends trying to get him into a cab to get him back to the Olympic Village.
says Van Hoecke, who came 15th in the men’s omnium on Sunday, is quoted telling RTBF television
, "What happened is a pity. I am sorry, this should not have happened." "But I also think that after two years of relentless work, I have the right to let my hair down. It would have been better if it had not happened here in London." "I chose the wrong moment. Having said that, it was outside the Olympic Village, I wasn't disturbing other athletes, they didn't say anything about it."
But the National Post
says Belgian team officials issued a statement calling the incident deplorable,“The Belgian Olympic Committee and the Royal Cycling Federation deplore this incident, which fortunately did not affect life in the Olympic Village and athletes trying to rest ahead of their competition.” The team says he was sent home immediately.
says Het Laatste Nieuws
quotes Van Hoecke saying, "I made a big mistake. I'm happy my parents didn't tell me off. They understand that I needed this."