After pleading guilty to assault charges related to an altercation with two teenage girls that occurred in late September
, Mathieu van der Poel's convictions and fine have been overturned on appeal.
The incident took place at a hotel where Van der Poel, 27, was staying before the road cycling world championships in Wollongong, Australia. The two girls reportedly knocked on Van der Poel's door and ran back to their room multiple times beginning at 10:40 pm. According to court documents, he “waited for the victims to knock on his door and chased them into their hotel room, following close behind them.” He then pushed one of the girls against a wall and yelled at her, before pushing the second girl against a wall with both hands.
According to The Australian
, “Judge Ian Bourke SC said while Van der Poel’s actions would have been 'disturbing' for the young pair, it came as a 'response to annoying and invasive conduct' which amounted to a 'significant degree of provocation.'"
Michael Bowe, Van der Poel's defense lawyer, said, “He didn’t need a conviction, he’s a dedicated sportsman and cyclist. It’s really important these matters were dismissed.”
With the convictions overturned, Van der Poel was sentenced to a 12-month conditional release order (CRO), which states that he must not commit any offense during that timeframe, and must appear before the court at any time if called on during the term of the CRO.