RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 10 (UPI) — Dirk Van Tichelt, a Belgian bronze-medal winning Olympian, chased down a cell phone thief in Rio de Janeiro while celebrating hours after his judo win. He was punched in the face.
Van Tichelt, 32, won bronze in the Olympic 73kg judo competition Monday. He celebrated at the iconic Copacabana Beach but appeared at a media event on Tuesday sporting a black eye.
The Belgian Olympic Committee said his training partner’s phone was stolen and Van Tichelt ran after the thief. He was punched in the face by someone else.
Luc Rampaer, the Belgian Olympic Committee’s communications director, denied Brazilian media reports the assault was committed by a prostitute.
“It’s false information. It was definitely a man who punched him; that’s what the police report says,” Rampaer said. “The police were nearby so he made a formal complaint and then was seen by a doctor at the hospital as a precaution, although there was nothing serious.”