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No further punishment for swimmers

August 24, 2013

Aussie relay 1

A group of Olympic swimmers who took sleeping drugs and “pranked” their female colleagues in a bonding ritual ahead of the London games have avoided further punishment from the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC).

The AOC said the fines handed to the six members of the men’s relay team, including newly-crowned world champion James Magnussen, by Swimming Australia were “proportionate and sufficient.”

But AOC boss John Coates warned any further conduct which brings swimming into disrepute will result in them being banned from the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“This is the yellow card,” Coates told reporters in Sydney.

The exact amount of the fines handed out to Magnussen, Eamon Sullivan, Matt Targett, James Roberts, Tommaso D’Orsogna and Cameron McEvoy is confidential but Coates says they were docked a percentage of their athlete support payments.

McEvoy and Magnussen were hit with a fine of 50 per cent, while the others had to hand over 25 per cent of their payments.

“The AOC considers that the financial sanction imposed by Swimming Australia is proportionate and sufficient in respect of each of those swimmers,” Coates said.

Coates said the swimmers had been under the “misapprehension” they could take Stillnox at a bonding camp in Manchester nine days before they were to compete.

But the AOC considered the “boorish, selfish, obnoxious and disrespectful” behaviour of the swimmers towards female team members a serious matter, he said.

“It upset the female swimmers… and it certainly affected moral at the time,” the AOC report said.

The report also found the men liable for the cost of the investigation and report, estimated to be about $150,000.

But they will not have to repay the money unless they’re caught breaking the rules again and banned from the Rio Games.


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