Reports of belligerently drunk Australian athletes on a wild flight home from Tokyo have led to an investigation of the Australian Olympic Committee — with disciplinary actions against some athletes possible in future.
Australia’s Olympic team Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman said that he is working to find out which players were involved in the boozy plane ride, during which at least one athlete became sick, shutting down one of the plane’s bathrooms, 7 News Australia reported.
Japan Airlines complained of loud, disruptive athletes who failed to follow COVID-19 protocol such as mask-wearing.
“The specifics of who is involved, we still don’t know,” Chesterman told reporters in Tokyo on Wednesday, 7 News Australia reported.
There were 49 athletes from nine sports teams aboard the flight which departed Tokyo on Thursday, July 29 and arrived in Sydney the following morning. The rugby team and soccer team were alleged to have been the leaders of the chaos.
Australian Olympic Committee Chief Executive Matt Carroll told Channel 7 the AOC expected better from its athletes.
“There were other Australians returning on that flight … it’s not the standard the Australian Olympic Committee expects and not the standard the sports expect too,” he told the network.
“There were nine sports involved, so I called the chief executives on Sunday morning, gave them a briefing, and asked them to investigate their other athletes and officials.”
Chesterman said the incident is being reviewed by Australia’s soccer and rugby leagues for possible sanctions against the players in the future.
Australian athletes and the AOC have also faced criticism for leaving their Tokyo rooms in the Olympic village in terrible condition.
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“There was an incident … that was also the same night there was damage in the rower’s room and they apologized,” Chesterman said.