Dutch Coach Let Go For Allegedly Giving Caffeine Pills To Young Swimmers
Happening back in 2017, but just coming to light now, a Dutch youth coach has been dismissed for allegedly giving his swimming pupils caffeine pills and then encouraging them to hide the fact from their parents. Stock photo via Mike Lewis/Ola Vista Photography
Happening back in 2017, but just coming to light now, a Dutch youth coach has been dismissed for allegedly giving his swimming pupils caffeine pills and then encouraging them to hide the fact from their parents.
According to Dutch news sources Eindhovens Dagblad (ED),Roland Beekes was reportedly let go from PSV, a competitive swimming arm within PSV Water Sports, a member of the Royal Dutch Swimming Association (KNZB), where he was a coach until mid-2017. For approximately 6 months, he had reportedly given caffeine pills to swimmers aged 14-18 with instructions for the students to not tell their parents.
According to Harold Matla, Secretary of PSV Swimming Sports, “When we found out in May 2018, we immediately suspended it and later canceled it.” Matla said that, Beekes is ‘no longer welcome at any activities organized by the PSV’, but the coach continues to conduct his own activities within arm’s reach.
Since being dismissed from PSV, Beeks founded his own club Next Line Swimming, along with Olympic open water champion Ferry Weertman nd Bastiaan Lijesen. The club practices at Pieter van den Hoogenband swimming stadium.
Important to note is that caffeine supplements are not banned, but they are on the WADA Monitoring List. You can read more about caffeine affecting performance in our recent article here.
Malta states,”the fact that PSV does not want minors to be offered caffeine pills is a matter of principle. We are against the use of all performance-enhancing products. Moreover, it starts with a vitamin pill, then a caffeine pill and what follows afterwards? “
Mirjam van den Nieuwenhuijzen of the board of the Nextline Swim Academy responded on behalf of Beekes, stating, “It is not good what Roland did but he learned from it and took a new chance with our club. Caffeine pills and dietary supplements are also prohibited with us. We do, however, work together with universities to put together a good nutrition program for our athletes.”
Updated since original publishing
Martin Teley of PSV commented to SwimSwam: As chairman of the swimming department, I would like to make clear that the main reason to part with this coach was a break of trust. The coach has been explicitly told by our head coach that our club does not supply kids under 18 with any kind of pills or supplements, since it does not align with our club’s policy. The fact that he went behind the back of the head coach and forced his swimmers to keep the usage a secret to others (especially the head coach) was the reason to part ways with immediate effect.
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