Aussies behaving badly: Rugby, football teams play up on boozy flight home

Rugby Australia and Football Australia are investigating the booze-fuelled conduct of returning Olympians on a flight home from Tokyo.

Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) CEO Matt Carroll . (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) CEO Matt Carroll . (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

The men’s rugby sevens team, which suffered a quarter-final loss, and the Olyroos, who failed to progress beyond the group stage of their Olympic campaign, are both in hot water.

Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) chief executive Matt Carroll convened a meeting of his counterparts at sporting organisations with representatives on the flight.

Carroll says Rugby Australia (RA) and Football Australia (FA) are probing the antics, which came after some departing Australian Olympians caused damage to their accommodation.

“While there has been no formal complaint from the airline, unacceptable behaviour was brought to our attention and I directly raised the issue with our member sports” Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) chief executive Matt Carroll said.

“It’s extremely disappointing.

“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.

“The CEOs have undertaken to take the appropriate action and report back to us.”

Rugby Australia (RA) confirmed in a statement that it had “begun its own internal investigation into the matter based on the information provided by the AOC”.

Australia’s chef de mission Ian Chesterman is yet to address the matter publicly, but has revealed no disciplinary action would be taken against athletes who prompted a COVID-19 scare by mingling with other residents inside the village.

The alleged indiscretions come five years after Chesterman’s predecessor Kitty Chiller said she “read the riot act” to male sevens players after a drunken night out in Rio de Janeiro.

Chesterman admitted on Tuesday morning that some Australian Olympians left their rooms in an “unacceptable” condition and caused what he termed “minor” damage.

Amid reports that cleaners had to mop up vomit, Chesterman confirmed a hole was left in one wall and that Australia’s emu and kangaroo mascots went missing in the village for several days.

“There was some damage in the rooms and some were left messy,” Chesterman said.

“The rooms were not trashed in any way.

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

“I’ve had expressions of great remorse from a number of athletes who were involved in these incidents.

“They feel disappointed they have contributed to this conversation about behavioural matters in a team that has been exceptional on and off the field.”

Chesterman said causing damaging to rooms in the village was not difficult to do.

“There’s some big people and some very flimsy walls, temporary walls as well,” he said.

Chesterman denied claims that he had to apologise to Great Britain officials for the behaviour of Australian athletes.

On the once-missing mascots, Chesterman noted “there was a bit of a search for them”.

“We were just about to get the ‘Wanted’ signs around the village and post a reward for their return,” he said.

“They are back in place.

“They went missing around the 28th … they enjoyed a pleasant holiday in Deutschland.”

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