Australian athletes exhibited “unacceptable behaviour” by drinking on a rowdy flight home from the games in Tokyo where they trashed their rooms, sporting officials from the country said this week.
According to local reports, the athletes were said to not be wearing masks and carousing in the aisles of the plane, keeping passengers up at night.
“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 CEOs,” said Australia’s Olympic Committee Chief Matt Carroll in a statement on Tuesday.
Japan Airlines also reportedly filed a complaint to the Australian Olympic Committee about the incident.
Carroll said there were Australian athletes from nine sports on Thursday’s flight. Rugby Australia and Football Australia have “sincerely apologised to the Australian Olympic Team,” he said.
The reports came after allegations of damaged beds and unattended vomit left behind by Australian athletes in the Olympic Village, where the movement of athletes has been restricted by COVID-19 protocols.
According to a statement by the Australian Olympic Committee provided to VICE World News, some individuals’ rooms were in “a messy and unacceptable state” when they left the Olympic Village, while two apartments involving athletes from the men’s rugby and rowing teams suffered from minor damage.
They also left a hole in the wall of a team space, head of the Australian Olympic Team Ian Chesterman confirmed.
No disciplinary action will be taken for the hole as the wall was “flimsy” and “temporary,” he said, adding that the athletes have already apologised for their actions.
He took greater issue with the Australian athletes who were leaving behind inexcusably messy rooms.
“It was unacceptable because people had to move into those rooms afterwards,” he said, without identifying the athletes in question.
Some Australian teams have launched investigations into their athletes’ behaviours, and the consequences awaiting the offending athletes remain uncertain. It was also not immediately clear how many were involved from the different sports.
A Football Australia spokesperson told VICE World News that the organization is aware of the alleged behaviour of some athletes who were on the notorious flight last week.
“Football Australia is discussing the matter with the Australian Olympic Committee and is taking the responsibility to investigate the involvement of any footballers,” they said.
In a statement late Tuesday, Rugby Australia said that it was informed by the committee about the incidents involving the men’s rugby team and has begun an internal investigation into the matter.
“Rugby Australia expects the highest standards of all its employees, modelling the values of our game – respect, integrity, passion and teamwork,” the statement read.
Rowing Australia declined to comment.
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