Rugby Australia and Football Australia are investigating allegations of “heavily intoxicated” players acting inappropriately on a Japan Airlines (JAL) flight.
Australian Olympic Committee CEO Matt Carroll told The Guardian the two football codes had said they would take full responsibility following reports of incidents involving Australian athletes during a flight from Tokyo to Sydney last Friday.
Carroll said that while the airline had made no official complaint, the behaviour of the athletes was “unacceptable”.
“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,” he said.
“The CEOs have undertaken to take the appropriate action and report back to us.”
It is not yet known what the allegations involve, but sources close to the matter told The Sydney Morning Herald that a number of players were “loud and obnoxious” during the flight following a long drinking session.
The “heavily intoxicated” players also left vomit in the bathroom of the plane. However, it is not clear whether that was left by members of the rugby or soccer team as athletes were required to wear masks during the 10-hour flight.
Rugby Australia said in a statement that the Australian Olympic Committee had informed it of incidents involving the Australian men’s sevens program.
“Rugby Australia has begun its own internal investigation into the matter based on the information provided by the AOC,” the group said.
“Rugby Australia expects the highest standards of all its employees, modelling the values of our game- respect, integrity, passion and teamwork.”
Football Australia has issued a similar statement.
The heavy drinking may have been the result of the team’s respective Olympic results following the men’s sevens team’s losses to Argentina and Fiji and the Olyroos’ failure to defeat Egypt.
Travel Weekly has contacted both Japan Airlines and the Australian Olympic Committee for more information.
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