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Rugby Australia issues statement after 'unacceptable' 7s behaviour

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

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Rugby Australia has completed its investigation into the behaviour of their men’s rugby 7s team while in the Olympic village in Tokyo and on their return flight home from Japan. It follows a request from the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) after complaints were received. A Rugby Australia statement read: “The Rugby Australia integrity unit found that the men’s rugby 7s team left one apartment in a messy, unacceptable state in the Olympic village and that there was some damage to beds. 


“A common area in the apartment, used as a team meeting room and physiotherapy space, also had some scuff-type marks on the walls. This was not acceptable and the AOC will be fully reimbursed for the damage to the beds and the marks on the walls.

“Additionally, the investigation found that a number of members of the team were drinking excessive amounts of alcohol on JAL 51, while also being disruptive to cabin crew and other passengers on board the flight. There is no evidence that any JAL property was damaged or mess in seats, aisles or bathrooms was made by the men’s rugby 7s team.

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“All members of men’s rugby 7s team have been reprimanded for this behaviour. They have also been formally warned about their future conduct. Certain team members will also undergo education and counselling sessions regarding behaviour and alcohol consumption.”

Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos added: “This behaviour is entirely unacceptable and not befitting any athlete who represents Australia or aspires to do so. While 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 behaviour.

“Rugby Australia has a zero-tolerance approach towards poor behaviour and expects the highest standards of conduct at all times. It is without a doubt that this will have a bearing on how we look at the 7s environment going forward. We will continue to provide support to our players and management through our partners Benestar as they currently work through their mandatory quarantine process,” continued Marinos, whose union has also had to deal with drinking issues affecting the Wallabies in Auckland this week.


“Rugby Australia and the men’s rugby 7s team would like to extend their sincere apologies to Japan Airlines, the Australian Olympic Committee as well as all passengers aboard JAL 51. The apology is also extended to the host nation of Japan and its people for their hospitality and grace. The players have been reminded of what it means to represent your country and the behaviour expected at all times.”


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