At press conference later today all six members of Australia’s men’s 4 x 100 freestyle relay team will admit to inappropriate behaviours and explain their actions to the entire country.
It has been confirmed through many publications that James Magnussen, Eamon Sullivan, James Roberts, Matt Targett, Cameron McEvoy and Tommaso D’Orsogna will join Daniel Kowalski, CEO of Australia’s Swimmers Association and Barclay Nettlefold President of Australian Swimming at a press conference later this evening where they will admit to their use/abuse of prescription drugs and inappropriate behaviour at a staging camp in Manchester leading into the London Olympics.
Both the Independent Swimming Review and the Bluestone Review, which came out early this week, concluded that the culture within the Australian Olympic Team was unacceptable; with the Bluestone Review calling the culture ‘toxic.’
Both reports described incidents of inappropriate behaviour, but neither report pinpointed the culprits. It is now clear who those swimmers were and they will answer for their actions later today.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that earlier in the year D’Orsongna had already given a telling statement when asked about the use of the perscription drug Stilnox, ”I’m not going to be the guy that stands up here and lies to Australia. But, at the same time, I’m just not going to comment. I’ll leave it at that.”
Earlier in the week when asked about the specific incident Head Coach Leigh Nugent told ABC Radio that he did not consider their behaviour serious enough to take action, “When we were in Manchester on the Saturday before we moved down to London, on the Sunday it was brought to my attention by a coach and an athlete that there had been some prank calls and some door-knocking,” said Nugent.
“They didn’t know who they were.”
“At the time I sort of put it down to childish behaviour … it didn’t raise alarm bells to me, but in hindsight it probably should have raised alarm bells.”
“My regret now is I didn’t follow it up.”
In an interview with The Australian Olympian Jade Neilsen had a very different viewpoint of the incident that involved James Magnussen, James Roberts and Cameron McEvoy, “I will confirm that they were being inappropriate and it was towards (name withheld) and I,” Neilsen said.
“I won’t specifically say (what happened). It has sort of already come out pretty much what they’ve done.”
“All I can say is their behaviour was completely inappropriate, it was so inappropriate it was not funny. That is all I can really say about that.”
The article does go on to explain that the two girls involved were ‘frightened’ and had told their coaches who than reported the incident to Nugent.
Neilsen added, “It should have been handled in Manchester or as soon as we got into the village, but it just wasn’t and unfortunately the boys have paid the price for that.”
“Well, the whole team has paid the price for that, not just the boys.”
In another report by The Australian a coach on the team, who did not want to be named, along with a senior swimmer told Nugent of the incident whose immediate reaction was, ‘Your girls are flirting with the dream team.’
In the same article another anonymous coach made it clear that he did want a few swimmers ruining the reputation of team, “If you look at it, it was a handful of guys that (expletive) the whole thing up,” the coach said.
“We don’t want the public thinking we are 44 ratbags.”
As reported by SwimSwam earlier today sources say that the athletes will reveal that they took a cocktail of stilnox and caffeinated drinks like Red Bull and Coca Cola, which sent them into a “rampage.”
In a article published on the Wide World of Sports website Australian Swimming’s President Barclay Nettlefold said he would take appropriate disciplinary action against both athletes and coaches, “We will be decisive, we will be firm and we will discipline athletes, coaches and staff accordingly, where such action is deemed appropriate and necessary,” Nettlefold said.
“We want to stop talking about rumour and act on the facts of what did or did not actually occur.”