Australia Olympics boss Kitty Chiller has confirmed that she has had to read the ‘riot act’ to the Australian Sevens players following an alcohol fueled night which led to the players staggering back to the Olympic village at 9am Saturday morning, leaving many officials bemused.
Before these Olympics, Chiller had adamantly made the point to all competing Australian athletes that non were to partake in drinking alcohol in the village or around other competitors for the duration of the games. Concern was also raised regarding venturing out into Rio where already a number of petty crimes on officials have been reported, who will very much be seen as easy targets for local gangs. (via smh.com.au)
“Yes, I read them the riot act,” Chiller said when contacted by Fairfax Media on Saturday night.
In an interview with Fairfax Media on the eve of the Rio Olympics, she said: “I have a zero tolerance for disruptive behaviour. It’s not about having no alcohol. Am I going to go out and have a few drinks? Absolutely. It is behaviour as a result of alcohol, of being a dickhead, of being disrespectful.
The Aussies had been knocked out of the tournament at the quarter-finals stage to South Africa and while these post-match ‘celebrations’ do not pose any significant issue to officials, it serves as a warning to other competitors regarding drink and comes along with a new range of security arrangements aimed at limiting the potential for unwanted altercations.
These include banning of athletes from stepping onto the sand of iconic Ipanema and Copacabana beaches after 6pm, and a warning about wearing team uniform and accreditation in those areas when the sun goes down, such is the nature of crime related incidents in Rio.
While the players in question did not commit any crime, as they were just making the most of their time at the Olympic Games, Chiller had to remain as stringent after making player misbehaviour so prevalent prior to the games:
“It’s not about having a breathalyser test. It’s a questions of, ‘Are you impacting on the performance of other athletes who are yet to compete?’. I don’t want to send three people home because they’re drunk. If someone gets rolling drunk, and tip-toes down the corridor and goes to bed and sleeps for 12 hours, there’s a warning but they won’t be sent home.
“I don’t want to send someone home every three days.”