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Dekkers Declassified - The Latest
By Anita van Crey
Date: 10/11/2002
Dekkers Declassified - The Latest
Dutchman Hans Dekkers is declassified in his race in the U23, because he apparently has sprinted in an irregular way and caused the big crash in the last kilometres. He now is placed in the last place of the result. Dekkers is very disappointed and demands to see the images of the sprint.


Dekkers smiles, Dekkers sad. All sorts of emotions happened to Dutchman Hans Dekkers today. First he finished second in the sprint, when he more or less expected to win. So he showed some little disappointment. But after a while he recovered his senses and waved happily from the podium receiving the silver medal. Posed for cameras, gave interviews, went to doping controls. And then, as thunder and lightning at clear sky he received the message that the jury thought he did sprint in an irregular way, he indirectly caused the big crash and therefor was placed back to the last place of the bunch (which is 84th).

Dekkers did not believe it, felt the ground move away under his feet. The Dutch team demanded to review the images of the sprint, reviewed them about ten times. Marten Bruin, the Dutch head of the jury explained to them over and over why they made the decision. A decision to which no one could react. Decided is decided, second is eighty-fourth. Bruin tells the still present merely Dutch press:

"It is true we already did the ceremony and so on. But we are on a very tight schedule here. Then afterwards we looked over and over to the sprint. A total of six jury members looked at the images and we all decided we had to declassify him. We had to make sure we made the right decision. Sure there were more riders who did change their way of racing, but those riders did not do any disadvantage to the others. Dekkers did go aside, blocked the way for a French and a Spanish rider, nearly causing them to fall down. They almost lost their balance. So we feel that we were right to declassify Dekkers. And no, no protest against this is possible."


Huub Stammes of the Dutch Cycling Union KNWU adds: "We have re-seen the images 8 to 10 times. We do for certain not agree with the decision the jury made. Sure Hans moves to the side, but a sprinter knows when he already has passed his opponent. And Hans did feel he passed that French rider. Hans at the moment is feeling very bad. He had to take a lot of time to 'recover'. How we did hear about this? We heard a rumour, we went to the jury to verify it, they showed us the images and told us their vision, their judgement. That is the only thing they do."

Dekkers himself does not feel any different about the sprint: "Like I said earlier I did not notice nothing of the fall. When you cause such a big crash you know it. I still feel I am second. The whole world has seen what a good race I raced, what a good sprint I sprinted.
"When I first heard about it, I just could not believe it. I had to regain my calmness, that took a while. Now I had time to think it over a bit. I still think I did nothing wrong though. Bruin received the silver medal back; I threw it at him. I still not see my role in this all, at least I still think I did not do anything wrong. I am second, that medal belongs me. I am a fair sprinter, this is the first time such a thing happens to me. The Italian rider moved just as much. He wins because he is strong, I finish second because I am strong. We both are not to blame in my opinion."

The Dutch chef d' équipe adds: "It sure was a very troubled sprint. Much happened. In my view it is not a fact Dekkers caused that fall. So why punish just one guy and let all the other without punishment. And to add to this; the jury said they were convinced Hans did not do this on purpose. Seen in this light it really is a very, very, very severe punishment for just one rider."

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