Olesen's European Tour ban lifted after COVID-19 delays trial


  • Golf
  • Friday, 03 Jul 2020

FILE PHOTO: Ryder Cup winner Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen leaves the Isleworth Crown Court in Isleworth, Britain September 18, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

(Reuters) - Thorbjorn Olesen's ban has been lifted by the European Tour after his trial for misconduct was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tour's governing body said on Thursday.

Denmark's Olesen was arrested at London's Heathrow Airport in July last year and charged with sexual assault, being drunk on an aircraft and common assault.

The 30-year-old pleaded not guilty to all three charges but was barred from playing in European Tour events pending the outcome of his trial, which was originally scheduled for May 11.

However, Olesen's court date has been pushed back to Dec. 6, 2021 due to the pandemic and the European Tour said he would be allowed to return to action.

"Due to this significant and unparalleled delay in the legal process, the European Tour has agreed that Olesen's suspension be lifted with immediate effect," the governing body said in a statement.

"This will be reviewed following the conclusion of the legal process, but as this is an ongoing legal matter the European Tour will be making no further comment at this time."

Olesen, who helped Europe to victory in the 2018 Ryder Cup, said he was grateful for the decision.

"While my team and I initially agreed that I would not participate in Tour events while legal proceedings were outstanding, I am grateful to the Tour for allowing me to continue my career...," said Olesen, a five-times winner on the European Tour.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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