Australian Swimmers Set To Reveal Facts Of 'Inappropriate' Behavior Friday
Australia swimming's men's 4x100m will hold a press conference on Friday afternoon at which they are "expected to reveal explosive details about their behaviour, including the use of prescription drugs," in the lead-up to the London Games, according to Stathi Paxinos of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The revelations are expected to be the "first stage of Australian swimming's apology in the aftermath of this week's damning reports into the sport." It would be the first episode of "naming and shaming following the reports that outlined a catalogue of problems within Swimming Australia and its Olympic campaign." The reports included "chronic mismanagement and favouritism, cases of bullying, abuse of prescription drugs, drunkenness and swimmers failing to remain in the stands to support teammates" (SMH, 2/22).
GETTING THE STORY STRAIGHT: In Brisbane, Phelps & Balym reported six relay swimmers held a teleconference Thursday with Swimming Australia. It was uncertain, which "allegations they would confess to." The Australian Olympic Committee "will be taking a keen interest in any admissions" Friday, particularly what is said about the behavior toward the female athletes and any use of Stilnox, which had been banned by the entire Olympic team (COURIER-MAIL, 2/22). Also in Brisbane, Todd Balym reported Olympic swimmer Jade Neilsen "has spoken out about Australian Swimming's night of shame, accusing three members of the men's 4x100m freestyle relay team of 'inappropriate behaviour'" toward her and a female roommate. Neilsen and her roommate at the team staging camp in Manchester, England "were awoken by late night phone calls, door knocking and disruptive behaviour by James Magnussen, James Roberts and Cameron McEvoy." Neilsen said, "I will confirm that they were being inappropriate. I won't specifically say (what happened)" (COURIER-MAIL, 2/22).
TIME TO HEAL: The AFP reported Australian swimmer Libby Trickett Wednesday "called for healing within the sport after reports exposed a 'toxic' atmosphere at the London Olympics including drunkenness, deceit and bullying." Trickett welcomed the news that officials "would further investigate allegations against the team, including that some athletes misused prescription drugs as a prank in London" (AFP, 2/21).