By Duncan Mackay

Kevin Neil head and shouldersNovember 21 - Swimming Australia chief executive Kevin Neil has resigned in the wake of the team's poor showing at the London Olympics, which was tarred by reports of pranks and ill-discipline.

Australia's swimmers won just one gold, six silver and three bronze in London, their lowest tally in the pool since Barcelona 1992, and were without an individual gold medalist for the first time since Montreal in 1976.

"I have witnessed great changes and seen how swimming continues to be Australia's premier Olympic and Commonwealth Games sport," said Neil, the former chief executive of the Canberra Raiders rugby league club who joined Swimming Australia four years ago.

"Following the below-expected results at the London Olympics, swimming is now undertaking various reviews to set the new course for the future and it is therefore appropriate to step aside to allow the sport to progress to its next exciting phase."

Earlier this month, Australian swimming officials announced an independent review of the sport's culture at elite level after rumors of initiation rituals involving prescription drugs in London.

Swimming Australia, the sport's governing body in the country, said consultancy Bluestone Edge would lead a probe of top level "culture and leadership," in parallel with a broader post-Olympics review already under way.

That review launched in August is examining why the once-dominant swimming team fell so short.

Alicia Coutts with five London 2012 medals in front of Tower BridgeAlicia Coutts won five Olympic medals at London 2012 but overall Australia's swimmers disappointed

In the lead-up to the Games, reports suggested some members of the much-vaunted, but ultimately unsuccessful six-man freestyle relay team had an initiation ritual that involved taking the sedative Stilnox.

Stilnox was banned by Australian Olympic officials ahead of London 2012.

But Swimming Australia President Barclay Nettlefold praised Neil's contribution. 

"Under Kevin's leadership, Swimming Australia increased its revenue by 40 per cent and instigated several new developments such as the BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series involving China and South Africa in Perth, where $500,000 (£312,000/€385,000) is offered in prize money to swimmers," he said.

"Kevin was also instrumental in negotiating a new broadcast deal with Network Ten, the implementation of a range of important initiatives targeted at growing the sport at a community level, and the development of an aquatic facilities strategy targeted at protecting access to water space for swimming clubs and building relationships with pool operators."

Swimming Australia Board member Jeremy Turner, a former chief executive of Queensland Racing, will serve as the interim chief executive but will not seek a fulltime appointment, he said.

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