April 19 - Members of the Australian men's 4x100 metres relay swimming team who admitted to "childish" behaviour while under the influence of a banned sedative at a pre-London 2012 training camp have been fined and handed deferred suspensions.
James Magnussen, Matt Targett, Eamon Sullivan, James Roberts, Cameron McEvoy and Tommaso D'Orsogna, made a humbling apology in front of press in February when details of their antics at the Olympic lead-in camp in Manchester emerged.
London 2012 4x200m freestyle silver medallist Jade Neilsen complained about the behaviour of the six involved, alleging that they disturbed her and a teammate with late night phone calls, door knocking and general disruptive behaviour after taking Stilnox, a sedative banned by the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) after three-time Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Grant Hackett alerted them of his reliance on the substance and its effects.
A Swimming Australia integrity panel conducted an investigation into the incident, which came to the conclusion that the team members involved had "failed to demonstrate the level of conduct required of members of the team".
"As a result of the Swimming Australia Integrity Panel report, six athletes will be required to make payments to Swimming Australia and will receive deferred suspensions for breaches of their behavioural obligations," the statement said.
Australia turned in their worst performance in the pool for two decades in a turbulent summer which saw them leave London with just one gold, six silver and three bronze medals.
A report suggested that "culturally toxic incidents such as getting drunk, misuse of prescription drugs, breaching curfews, deceit, and bullying" contributed to the poor show.
Freestyle world champion Magnussen denied that the drug was the cause of their underwhelming performance at London 2012, at the press conference in February.
"Obviously, in hindsight it was a ridiculous choice and a ridiculous method to do that by and for that, I have a lot of regrets," he said.
"But I don't feel it affected my performance."
The investigation report will now be submitted to the AOC for review when it is completed.
"The AOC appointed Bret Walker SC to carry out an independent investigation into the conduct of the men's swimming relay team at the London Games, following their admission of using Stilnox in Manchester, and into any other conduct of concern by Team Members during the Games," read a statement from the AOC today.
"He has interviewed the relay team and others but his investigation and report to the AOC is not yet complete.
"The AOC will ask Mr Walker to consider Swimming Australia's findings in completing his report."
Swimming Australia President Barclay Nettlefold added: "We believe these athletes showed poor judgement in their actions and behaviour, and such behaviour is unacceptable for members of the Australian swim team.
"We have taken many steps towards developing a more positive culture within the team and the organisation already this year, and were confident we are heading in the right direction."
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