Australia probes ‘disappointing’ conduct from Olympians

Sports Tokyo 2020

Tokyo, Japan | AFP

Australian Olympic officials on Tuesday pledged to investigate reports of “extremely disappointing” behaviour by football and rugby players travelling home from the Tokyo Games.

The Australian Olympic Committee did not provide details of the alleged misconduct but said it occurred on a flight taking athletes from Tokyo to Sydney late last week.

AOC chief executive Matt Carroll said the airline involved did not formally complain but the sports concerned promised to investigate after he raised concerns with them.

“It’s extremely disappointing, but both rugby and football have told me that such behaviour is certainly not acceptable within their sports and have sincerely apologised to the Australian Olympic team,” he said in a statement. 

“The chief executives (of the governing bodies) have undertaken to take the appropriate action and report back to us.”

Rugby Australia confirmed an investigation was underway into “incidents” involving the Olympic sevens team.

“Rugby Australia expects the highest standards of all its employees, modelling the values of our game -- respect, integrity, passion and teamwork,” it said.

The Australian men’s football team’s Tokyo campaign ended last Thursday, when they were eliminated in the group stage after a 2-0 loss the Egypt.

The men’s sevens team exited their competition a day earlier after being thrashed 19-0 by Fiji.

Rugby sevens players, along with members of the rowing team, were also allegedly involved in a party that damaged Australian Olympic accommodation in Tokyo.

Australian media reported the a raucous gathering left damaged beds, a hole in the wall and a pool of vomit in one room.

Australia’s chief de mission at the Games, Ian Chesterman, played down the incident, saying no further action was planned and all the athletes involved had apologised profusely.

“Some young people made a mistake, they had left the rooms in a condition that was unacceptable,” he told reporters in Tokyo.

“The rooms were not completely trashed in any way.”

“It’s a matter of a small number of people making a mistake and they’re going to have to live with that,” he added.


© Agence France-Presse

Tokyo 2020 AFP