Veteran Dutch swimmer Joeri Verlinden has been pulled from this week’s Olympic qualification meet in Eindhoven.
According to a post on his Instagram account, the 33-year old Verlinden tested positive for a coronavirus infection via a PCR test, which is considered the most accurate test for the disease that has plunged the world into pandemic over the last 13 months.
Meet rules required a negative PCR test for participation.
On Wednesday, he took a second test, which came back negative (he did not say whether the second test was a PCR or the faster, but less accurate, antigen test).
While negotiations were underway even before the second test came back negative about how he could participate safely, Verlinden developed what he described as “very mild cold symptoms.”
An independent doctor for the event decided that Verlinden should be excluded from the event.
This is not Verlinden’s final opportunity to qualify for the Olympics: he has been selected to the Dutch team for the European Championships, which are scheduled from May 17-23 in Budapest.
No Dutchmen have hit the FINA “A” standard of 51.97 during the qualifying period. Verlinden’s 52.01 from 2018 is the fastest swim by a Dutch athlete since the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Louis Croenen (52.10), Mathys Goosen (52.20), and Nyls Korstanje (52.24), all chasing that “A” cut as well, will all race this weekend at the Eindhoven Swim Cup.
The Netherlands also doesn’t yet have a qualified 400 medley relay for the Olympics either – at present, they’re the ‘first team out,’ though they’ll have a chance to improve that status at the European Championships.
Verlinden previously represented the Netherlands at both the 2016 Summer Olympics, where he finished 22nd in prelims of the 100 fly (52.48) and failed to advance; as well as the 2012 Summer Olympics, where he advanced to the final and placed 6th (51.82).