Australia Plans Olympic Alcohol Ban After London Parties

Australia will ban team members from drinking alcohol in the athlete’s village at the Rio 2016 Olympics after some held parties at last year’s games that disrupted their teammates.

Australia finished 10th on the medal table at the 2012 games in London with 35 medals, its worst display since Barcelona 1992.

Leigh Nugent, Australia’s head swimming coach, quit in March after a review found that the Olympic swimming team was beset by “culturally toxic incidents” including misuse of prescription drugs, drunkenness, curfew breaches, deceit and bullying.

“Problems occurred at the London 2012 Olympics with athletes holding parties and disrupting fellow team members who were waiting to compete,” the Australian Olympic Committee, or AOC, said in a statement.

The alcohol ban will apply to athletes and officials, Kitty Chiller, Australia’s team leader, said.

“We will be expecting an extremely high standard of behavior in Rio,” Chiller, who competed in the modern pentathlon at the Sydney games in 2000, said. “Bad behavior will not be tolerated.”

Australia finished 4th in the medal table at the Sydney games and retained that position in Athens in 2004. Four years later, in Beijing, it finished 6th.

“Climbing back into the top five is paramount,” the AOC said, adding that Chiller is focused on creating a united team.

Editor: Chris Elser, Alex Duff

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Priechenfried in London at bprie@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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