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.

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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Markster

Pretty dumb telling kids to hide anything from their parents, hopefully that was the primary reason for his firing. Cant imagine a coach getting in trouble for reccomending coffee to their swimmers

CRD

“but just coming to light now”, It has been known in the Dutch swimmer circuit for a year now I think, so that is not entirely true.

Swimmy

He’s dumb for giving it to kids, but I am 100% for athletes using the LEGAL substance of caffeine to enhance performance especially as they get to college age.

DashRiprock

Caffeine pills are a VERY dangerous item to be encouraging kids to use. It’s pretty hard to OD of Coffee, but as soon as some child gets the results from one pill, will they always stop at one?

Taking a lot of these certainly can cause some potential issues. Kids don’t always know potential danger, especially if someone they look up to says yes.

Bad move coach. How about just try and be a better coach.

sscommenter

did we learn nothing from fresh prince and saved by the bell? caffeine pills / speed is a dangerous drug

BGNole97

I think even Silver Spoons had a “Very Special Episode” about this…

Swimmie

Some kids even ended up in the hospital……

About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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