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Rugby Australia issue 7s statement after Japan Airways complaint

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

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Rugby Australia have issued a statement after it was made aware of alleged incidents of bad behaviour by their men’s sevens team while travelling home from the Olympics in Tokyo where they finished in seventh place following a playoff final win over Canada last week. 

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Full details of what took place on the Japan Airlines flight have yet to be confirmed but the Sydney Morning Herald have speculated that among the alleged incidents were drunken behaviour and leaving the plane’s bathrooms in a mess.

The airline reportedly complained to the Australian Olympic Committee and the matter has now been addressed by Rugby Australia in a brief statement. “Rugby Australia has been made aware of incidents involving the Australian men’s sevens program after being informed by the Australian Olympic Committee.

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“Rugby Australia has begun its own internal investigation into the matter based on the information provided by the AOC. Rugby Australia expects the highest standards of all its employees, modelling the values of our game – respect, integrity, passion and teamwork.”

The latest allegations follow on from complaints about how some rooms at the Tokyo 2020 athletes village were left following a party involving the rugby sevens and rowing teams after they had finished their competitions. 

Reports stated that beds were damaged, vomit had to be cleaned and a hole was left in the wall. Australia’s chef de mission Ian Chesterman said at the time: “The vast majority of athletes have absolutely done the right thing through their stay and been model citizens both on and off the field of play, a few have let themselves down.

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“Some young people made a mistake, they had left the rooms in a condition that was unacceptable. The rooms were not trashed in any way. I want to focus on the fact that some people have made a mistake and had left the room in conditions that we thought were unacceptable.

“I have had expressions of great remorse from a number of athletes who were involved in these incidents. They feel disappointed they have contributed to this conversation about behavioural matters in a team that has been exceptional on and off the field.”

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