Dutch IOC member denies domestic violence stories; Admits to “scuffle”
After keeping quiet for 2.5 years about allegations that he abused his ex girlfriend, Dutch IOC member Camiel Eurlings finally addressed the incident in an interview with NRC. He denied the stories of domestic abuse reported in the media, but admitted that he and his ex-girlfriend had a "scuffle".
"Yes, there was a mutual scuffle between me and my ex-girlfriend in the night of 20 to 21 July ", Eurlings said to the newspaper. He said that he underestimated the public impact of the incident and his lack of openness about it. According to the former CDA minister and former KLM director, the scuffle was a once-off incident. He refused to comment on why it happened to the newspaper.
Eurlings did not want to comment on the injuries his ex-girlfriend sustained in the 'scuffle', only saying that the images portrayed in the media are not correct. Previous reports stated that the woman sustained a broken elbow, a concussion, and multiple bruises. "It was agreed not to go into details", he said.
The IOC member and his girlfriend reached a settlement with the Public Prosecutor, to avoid the case ending up in court. Eurlings denied that he received a fine and community service, as the media reported. According to him, he completed "a few days" of community service.
Eurlings apologized to his ex-girlfriend, the international Olympic committee IOC, Dutch sports organization NOC*NSF, the Olympic athletes, and the Dutch public. He would not say what pushed him to finally talk about the allegations with the press. Though last month the NOC*NSF explicitly asked him to make a public statement on the matter.
The Athletes Committee of the NOC*NSF called Eurlings' apologies a step in the right direction. But he still has a lot of explaining to do, committee chairman Chiel Warners said to broadcaster NOS. "A lot of trust has been lost and that did not do the sport any good, so that will have to be restored. But the good will is shown", he said.