Brussels - Belgian cyclist Gijs Van Hoecke was banished from the Olympics on Thursday after he was pictured stumbling drunkenly down a London street, propped up by two friends.
Fifth in the omnium track cycling event last weekend, the 20-year-old Van Hoecke apologised for his boozy night out, but the press pulled no punches.
"The gold medal in drinking and partying," wrote Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws.
"What happened is a pity. I am sorry, this should not have happened," Van Hoecke told RTBF television.
"But I also think that after two years of relentless work, I have the right to let my hair down. It would have been better if it had not happened here in London," he added.
"I chose the wrong moment. Having said that, it was outside the Olympic Village, I wasn't disturbing other athletes, they didn't say anything about it."