"Hard reality" for Veneberg

Thorwald Veneberg has run into what a Dutch judge called "the hard reality of top sport." That judge ruled Wednesday morning that Veneberg was not entitled to a new contract from Team Rabobank. The team had not offered him a new contract for the coming season, and he had contested that decision, saying that under Netherlands' employment laws, he should be considered under contract for an indefinite period of time, since he had had a contract with the team since January 1, 2001.

Veneberg claimed that he was entitled to either the right to work or compensation for his dismissal, adding that the team never told him that he was not riding well. At the hearing earlier this month, Rabobank's attorneys said that he was not offered a new contract because "last year he was nearly worthless for the team."

According to the Belga press agency, the judge ruled that Veneberg's contract clearly stated that his services to the team were dependent based on his performance. The fact that Rabobank no longer wanted to employ Veneberg is "the hard reality of top sport," the judge said He ordered that the employment contract would be dissolved by January 1 with no compensation for the rider.

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