The Australian Olympic Committee has banned their athletes from consuming alcohol inside of the Athletes’ Village for the duration of the 2016 Olympics, in hopes of boosting performance numbers.
In an announcement made on Thursday, the 2016 Chef de Mission for the Australian Olympics team has declared the Australian area of the athletes’ village a “dry area,” which will apply to both athletes and officials, both before and after their competition schedule is completed.
Athletes who have finished competition will be allowed to drink outside the Village but Chiller stressed irresponsible drinking will not be tolerated.
“Athletes are free to go for a drink outside the Village once they have finished competing, but we insist that they drink responsibly. We don’t want them rolling around the Village drunk and disrupting other athletes who are about to compete.” The ban will also include the flight back to Sydney after the games,
This comes in response to a 2012 Olympics that was riddled with conduct questions about the Australian swim team, perhaps most publicly the swim team, and resulted in a 10th-place finish in the medal standings: their lowest rank, total medal, and gold medal output since 1992.
Members of the swim team have been reprimanded and punished quite publicly for actions at the pre-Olympic training camp, but according to Chiller, they weren’t the only ones.
“Some athletes who were competing in the second week of the London Games were awake at night because of the noise caused by athletes who had finished competition and wanted to party.
Additionally, rower Josh Booth was held by London police after a night of drinking led him to vandalize a local shop after his last event was over.
“We will be expecting an extremely high standard of behaviour in Rio – bad behaviour will not be tolerated,” Chiller warned. “It’s about creating the best environment to achieve performance success. If we’re about high performance, then athletes are not going to be walking into the Village at 7am drunk or making noise or disrupting other athletes,” she said.
Australia’s goal is to be back in the top 5 countries in the overall medal standings in Rio, which would seem to mean at least doubling their 7 gold medal output from London.