Home Australia Dutch Olympic bosses give the green light to the volleyball player who raped a 12-year-old British girl to play in the Paris Games – and say there is no reason to stop him.

Dutch Olympic bosses give the green light to the volleyball player who raped a 12-year-old British girl to play in the Paris Games – and say there is no reason to stop him.

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Dutch volleyball player Steven van de Velde (pictured), who was jailed for raping a 12-year-old girl, has qualified to compete at the Paris Olympics next month.

The Dutch Olympic Committee is at risk of a backlash after confirming that convicted rapist Steven van de Velde can represent the country at the Paris Olympics.

Van de Velde, 29, qualified for the beach volleyball Games with teammate Matthew Immers, but his participation in the event in the French capital is likely to cause controversy after he raped a 12-year-old British girl in 2014.

The Dutch star was 19 when he flew from the Netherlands to the UK to meet the schoolgirl in August 2014, after the pair started chatting on Facebook before taking her virginity.

The athlete, who was then aware of the girl’s youth, was sentenced in March 2016 to four years in prison after admitting three counts of rape. He was released in 2017 after serving just one year of his sentence.

Van de Velde has secured a place for Paris 2024, but the country’s Olympic Committee has the final say on selection.

Dutch volleyball player Steven van de Velde (pictured), who was jailed for raping a 12-year-old girl, has qualified to compete at the Paris Olympics next month.

Van de Velde was 19 when he flew from the Netherlands to the UK to meet the schoolgirl in August 2014. Here he is seen celebrating at the World Beach Championships in 2023.

Van de Velde was 19 when he flew from the Netherlands to the UK to meet the schoolgirl in August 2014. Here he is seen celebrating at the World Beach Championships in 2023.

Van de Velde photographed during the qualifying final for the 2020 German Championship

Van de Velde photographed during the qualifying final for the 2020 German Championship

In a statement, the Dutch Olympic Committee*Dutch Sports Federation said there was no reason to exclude Van de Velde from participating in the Games.

“Since 2018, Steven van de Velde has returned to participate in international beach volleyball tournaments following an intensive and professionally supervised course,” a spokesperson told Mail Sport.

‘At that time, the considerations and conditions for their return to the elite sporting level were determined by the Dutch Volleyball Federation (NeVoBo) and the NOC*NSF partly on the basis of the ‘NOC*NSF Guidelines Integrity Register ‘. These guidelines set out, for example, the conditions under which athletes can return to elite sport after a conviction.

“Meanwhile, Steven van de Velde has met all qualification criteria for the Olympic Games and is therefore included in the group of athletes who formally moved on July 4 from the Dutch national federations to the NOC*NSF, who he then becomes responsible for them during the Olympic Games.’

The International Olympic Committee, which governs the Games, said: ‘The nomination of individual team members, following on-field qualification, is the sole responsibility of each respective National Olympic Committee. “We will therefore refer to the Dutch NOC for further information.”

During his trial just under a decade ago, Aylesbury Crown Court heard how van de Velde had traveled to the UK and met his victim and had sex with her.

Sandra Beck, prosecuting, told the court at the time: “She describes meeting Steven Van de Velde on Facebook, they spoke regularly through there and he made her ‘feel special’.”

“She made it clear that she was seven years younger than him. This relationship over social media developed over a period of time.”

The volleyball player’s victim had added him as a friend on Facebook after he commented favorably on one of her photos, the court heard.

They began talking daily via Facebook, Snapchat and Skype before he arranged to visit her and arrived in Milton Keynes in August 2014.

The schoolgirl told her family she was staying with a friend and ran away to try to book a hotel with the older teenager, who was 19 at the time.

When they couldn’t find a room, they went to Lake Furzton in the town, where they drank Baileys and she performed a sex act on him.

The next day, after the couple slept in cardboard boxes under a staircase at the Premier Inn, unable to book a room again, she took him to her empty house and he took her virginity.

Before returning to the Netherlands, Van de Velde advised her to take the morning-after pill, as they had not used contraception. It was her visit to her family planning clinic that alerted the authorities, who intervened due to the girl’s young age.

The athlete, of Westeinde 46, Voorburg, Netherlands, was extradited to the UK on January 8, when he was arrested on suspicion of sexual acts. He subsequently admitted to three counts of rape against a minor.

The International Olympic Committee says that the selection for Paris 2024 depends on each country

The International Olympic Committee says that the selection for Paris 2024 depends on each country

Van de Velde was released from prison in 2017 after serving just one year of his four-year sentence.

Upon his release, he said: “I want to correct all the nonsense that has been written about me when I was locked up.”

“I didn’t read anything on purpose, but I understand that it was quite bad, that they have called me a sexual monster, a pedophile. Which I’m not, not really.

“Everyone can have their opinion about me, but it’s fair that they also know my side of the story.”

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