‘Toxic’ … Australian swimmers abused alcohol and drugs, report finds.’Toxic’ culture in Australian swimmingSwimming hit by second damning report
THE Australian Olympic Committee will investigate, and is prepared to financially sanction, the swimmers accused of breaching the team agreement in London.
Fairfax Media has been told that AOC president John Coates has been briefed about the damning findings of two reports into a grossly mismanaged national swim team that performed badly in and out of the pool at the Games last July.
It’s understood the AOC is particularly concerned about the evidence that Olympic swimmers breached the team agreement by misusing prescription drugs and bullying teammates during the Games period.
The culture and leadership report into Australian Olympic swimming prepared by Doctor Pippa Grange, released on Tuesday, says “there were enough culturally toxic incidents across enough team members that breached agreements (such as getting drunk, misuse of prescription drugs, breeching curfews, deceit, bullying) to warrant a strong, collective leadership response that included coaches, staff and the swimmers.”
Doctor Grange laments that “No such collective action was taken”.
Fairfax Media has been told that the AOC, deeply concerned about the report findings, will punish individuals financially if serious breaches of the Olympic team agreement are proved.
Australian athletes that medal at the Olympic Games win money from the AOC for their feats. It’s understood the AOC will seek to recoup that money from any swimmer who medalled in London and breached the team agreement.
Swimmers who did not medal but who are also found to have breached their team agreement may be also punished by the AOC in other ways an insider said.
Australian Olympians are expected to abide by the team agreement on their pre-Olympics camps, during the Games and on their way home.
The Australian Olympic Committee team agreement, which was signed by all national representatives before the London Games, references bullying explicitly in the Ethical Behaviour by-law.
The by-law states:
“…all relevant persons must not, by their acts or omissions, engage or participate in:
(1) Direct discrimination;
(2) Indirect discrimination;
(3) Unlawful harassment;
It says ” If a breach of this by-law occurs at any time other than during a Games period, then the breach and any sanctions to be applied will be determined by the AOC in its sole and absolute discretion.”
The team agreement also says that “All Relevant Persons must provide assistance and disclose honestly and fully all relevant information to the AOC and during the Games Period the Chef de Mission of the relevant team” and that the AOC may “impose financial penalties in respect of AOC financial or other support” in the case of a breach.
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