Rugby Australia and Football Australia are investigating the booze-fuelled conduct of returning Olympians on a flight home from Tokyo.
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 chief executive Matt Carroll convened a meeting of his counterparts at sporting organisations with representatives on the flight.
Carroll said Rugby Australia and Football Australia were investigating the antics, which came after some departing Australian Olympians caused damage to their accommodation.
#BREAKING More incidents of bad behaviour from Australia's athletes. @7NewsSydney can reveal Japan Airlines has written to the Australian Olympic Committee to complain about alcohol-fuelled bad behaviour of Rugby 7s team on return home. Inquiry underway. #7Olympics #Tokyo2020
— Chris Reason (@ChrisReason7) August 3, 2021
“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” 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 confirmed 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 speak about the matter publicly. He has already said there will be 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 Mr Chesterman’s predecessor Kitty Chiller said she “read the riot act” to male sevens players after a drunken night out in Rio de Janeiro.
Mr 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, Mr Chesterman confirmed there was a hole 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,” Mr Chesterman said.
“The rooms were not trashed in any way.
“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.”
Mr Chesterman said damaging 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.
He denied claims that he had to apologise to British officials for the behaviour of Australian athletes.
On the once-missing mascots, Mr Chesterman said: “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.”