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‘Stilnox six’ face AOC punishment

August 22, 2013

Aussie Mens Relay 2

Australia’s controversial men’s freestyle relay team will be punished by the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) on Friday.

The six Australian men’s freestyle swimmers face sanctions including loss of AOC funding as a result of their ill-fated bonding session before last year’s London Olympics.

The swimmers – Eamon Sullivan, Matt Targett, James Magnussen, James Roberts, Tommaso D’Orsogna and Cameron McEvoy – have already been fined and given suspended sentences by Swimming Australia.

But the specific penalties from Swimming Australia have not been detailed, beyond the sport’s peak body saying the swimmers were fined and given “deferred suspensions for breaches of their behavioural obligations”.

The AOC launched its own investigation in the wake of the Stilnox controversy.

AOC president John Coates will announce penalties and release details of the investigation, headed by renowned Sydney QC Bret Walker, at a media conference at 1pm (AEST) on Friday.

An AOC spokesman declined to comment ahead of the AOC executive receiving the Walker report on Thursday night. The executive board meet on Friday before Coates’ media conference.

Five of the six relay swimmers admitted they took the prescription sleeping drug just weeks after it was banned by the AOC last July.

All except Roberts admitted taking the drug in a bonding session at a Manchester camp leading into last year’s Olympics, where the relay team were gold medal favourites but finished fourth.

The AOC has a range of penalties available to it, including withdrawing future funding from the swimmers.

The AOC also could also withdraw Medal Incentive Funding given to Magnussen, who received $10,000 for his 100m freestyle silver medal at the London Games, and the $7500 paid to Targett and D’Orsogna for their part in the 100m medley relay bronze medal in London.

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