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Mathieu van der Poel has had his assault charge overturned by an Australian court.
With the conviction now overturned, Van der Poel must serve a 12-month conditional release order, according to Australian broadcaster ABC. He must not commit an offense while the order is in place and he would have to appear before a court if called to do so during the 12-month period.
Van der Poel was accused of assaulting two teenage girls at his hotel in Sydney on the eve of the men’s road race at the world championships in Wollongong, Australia in September. He claimed that they had been repeatedly knocking on his hotel room door during the night.
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The Dutchman was arrested by police and questioned before being charged and released. He started the road race the following day but pulled out soon after the race had begun.
Van der Poel appeared in court two days later, where he pleaded guilty to the two counts of assault. The court had heard that he had grabbed one of the girls by the arm and pushed the other during the incident.
According to a report by Australian broadcaster ABC, an appeal against the conviction was heard at Sydney Downing Centre District Court on Tuesday and the conviction was overturned.
Van der Poel was not at the appeal hearing as he is currently racing in Europe, but he was represented by lawyer Michael Bowe.
“It was a great outcome, really good,” Bowe told ABC. “No one wants to carry a conviction forward for the rest of your life when you’re of very good character. In my view, the convictions shouldn’t have been made, which was supported by the District Court.
“I ran the argument on the basis of the loss to Mathieu — he had one opportunity in his life to win the world championships and he’d lost that opportunity. He’d trained for that opportunity, he’d let his country down, he’d let his team down.”