Rugby Australia to pay for Tokyo Olympics room damage

Karolos Grohmann, Reuters

Posted at Aug 05 2021 08:03 PM | Updated as of Aug 05 2021 08:06 PM

TOKYO - Australia's Rugby Sevens players have been reprimanded for their drunken behavior on a flight home from the Tokyo Olympics and for damaging their rooms in the Japanese capital, Rugby Australia said on Thursday.

Rugby Australia will also foot the bill for the damage to beds and walls and for leaving the rooms in an unacceptable state at the accommodation in Tokyo's athletes village.

Rugby players and rowers had damaged rooms in the village while celebrating the end of their competitions. The rowers have since apologized.

Rugby Australia also apologized to Japan Airlines, the other passengers on that flight as well as to the Australian Olympic Committee, which heads the entire delegation to Tokyo.

"This behavior is entirely unacceptable and not befitting any athlete who represents Australia or aspires to do so," Rugby Australia Chief Executive Andy Marinos said in a statement.

"Whilst we acknowledge the disappointment experienced through their Olympic campaign as well as the challenging environment all athletes have had to deal with since the start of the pandemic, this is not an excuse for this behavior."

Rugby Australia has also warned the players about their future conduct. Some will undergo education and counselling sessions regarding behavior and alcohol consumption.

"Rugby Australia has a zero-tolerance approach towards poor behavior and expects the highest standards of conduct at all times," Marinos said. "It is without doubt that this will have a bearing on how we look at the Sevens environment going forward.

Australia went out in the quarter-final stage in the Rugby Sevens Olympic tournament, losing 19-0 to Fiji. All athletes, upon their return, must go into a two-week mandatory quarantine. 

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