Dutch golfer won’t compete in the Olympics after all, despite winning court case that appeared to send him to Paris

Dutch golfer Joost Luiten will not be competing in this month’s Olympic Games after the International Olympic Committee ruled it would not expand the field to include him, despite qualifying and winning a court case that seemed set to send him to Paris.

Luiten announced last month that the Dutch Olympic Committee would not allow him to take a place on the country’s team that is competing in the golf competition, despite the fact that he met the International Golf Federation’s criteria for entry. In an Instagram post last month, Luiten wrote that the Dutch Olympic Committee had its own criteria – a good chance to finish in the top eight of the competition – and denied him because it did not feel he would be able to finish that strongly.

Luiten went to court to challenge the decision, calling it “mindblowing” and “so sad and painful.” And last week, it seemed as if his ticket was punched – a Dutch court handed him a victory, requiring him to be added to the Dutch team going to the Olympics.

But on Tuesday, Luiten’s Olympic dreams appeared to die once again. The International Golf Federation said in a statement that the spot Luiten had earned had been given to another player because of the Dutch Olympic Committee’s original decision to exclude him from competing.

“The IGF was not a party to the legal action brought forth by Luiten in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, in an effort to support Luiten, the IGF sought an exception from the IOC to increase the field size of the men’s Olympic golf competition from 60 to 61 competitors to include Luiten, however the request was denied by the IOC today,” the statement read.

“The IGF has advised Luiten of the IOC’s decision, and he has not informed the IGF whether he intends to pursue this matter further.”

In a statement, the Dutch Olympic Committee said Luiten’s description of why he was initially left off the team was accurate, saying he was not selected because he didn’t meet national performance requirements. The committee recognized that it had amended its national requirements halfway through the qualification process for the golf competition, which Luiten found unfair and a judge agreed.

The statement said the Dutch committee immediately complied with the court’s ruling, but the International committee made the final decision to exclude Luiten from competition.

The Dutch Olympic Committee “understands very well how extremely disappointing and frustrating it must be for golfer Joost Luiten that he cannot participate in the Olympic Games in Paris,” the statement read.

According to the International Golf Federation, Luiten had finished 40th in the final men’s Olympic Golf Ranking. That would have comfortably put him in the 60-man field for the competition, which is set to take place from on August 1-4 at Le Golf National in Guyancourt, France, southwest of Paris.

Luiten, a 38-year-old who went pro in 2006, said last week that he was excited to play in the Olympics despite the ordeal.

“I love sports and the Olympics is the biggest sport event in the world. Golfers understand majors but people that don’t play golf, they don’t understand the majors they understand the Olympics, and it’s just something that I want to be a part of,” Luiten told the European Tour’s website.

He noted that he played in the Olympics in 2016 during the Rio de Janeiro Games, and was ready to represent his country once again.

“It’s very painful when basically one or two people say you’re not good enough when you’ve met the criteria,” he said. “It just wasn’t fair, and it was great that the judge saw that as well and that it shows that they can’t do whatever they want. They still need to explain why they are making certain decisions, and I think that’s the good thing about this.”

Luiten has not immediately commented on the IOC’s decision.

CNN’s Jill Martin contributed to this report.

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