The Australian Olympic Committee was forced to apologise on Tuesday after it emerged that players from its men’s rugby union sevens team and the Olyroos soccer team had got up to drunken high jinx on a flight back to Australia last Friday.
In a separate incident, a group of unnamed Australian athletes had damaged their rooms in the Olympic village before their departure – although Team Australia chief Ian Chesterman said the damage wasn’t bad and that it was easy to break the now-infamous anti-sex cardboard beds.
Chesterman defended the young athletes, saying the rooms “were not completely trashed in any way” but there were more difficult questions for Rugby Australia after reports that players had become unruly during a Japan Airlines flight to Sydney and had made a mess of the plane’s lavatories.
Rugby Australia said in a statement that it was now investigating exactly what had occurred on the flight:
“Rugby Australia has been made aware of incidents involving the Australian Men’s Sevens program after being informed by the Australian Olympic Committee,” the statement read. “Rugby Australia has begun its own internal investigation into the matter based on the information provided by the AOC.”
The organisation said that it “expects the highest standards of all its employees, modelling the values of our game – respect, integrity, passion and teamwork.”
Australian Olympic Committee chief executive Matt Carroll said that Japan Airlines had not made a complaint but that the “unacceptable” had been brought to his attention and that an investigation had been launched.
“It’s extremely disappointing but both Rugby and Football have told me that such behaviour is certainly not acceptable within their sports and have sincerely apologised to the Australian Olympic Team,” Caroll said.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.