Aussie Olympic rower Josh Booth faces London disciplinary action
A rower faces a police investigation and possible disciplinary action over an alcohol-fuelled incident as Australia’s under-performing Olympians come under pressure inside and outside the London Games venues.
A ROWER faces a police investigation and possible disciplinary action over an alcohol-fuelled incident as Australia’s under-performing Olympians come under pressure inside and outside the London Games venues.
Olympic debutant Josh Booth, a member of the eights crew that finished last in Wednesday’s six-nation final, was detained by police after a shop front was damaged in what Australian team boss Nick Green confirmed was an alcohol-related incident.
The 21-year-old Melbourne rower had fainted and hit his head at a police station, then received hospital treatment before being released and returned to the athletes’ village, Green said.
No charges had been laid but Booth would be required to help with continuing police investigations on Friday.
Green said he would wait until those investigations were over before considering any disciplinary action.
The drama adds further stress to a 410-strong Australian contingent which is struggling to meet its own top-five performance target in London, with just one gold medal and nine in all for 15th position after five days of competition.
Nowhere is the team’s disappointment more keenly felt than at the swimming pool, where the normally high-flying Aussie squad is sinking towards its worst Olympics in two decades.
James Magnussen fought back tears as he absorbed the pain of missing the 100m freestyle gold medal by an agonising one-hundredth of a second on Wednesday night.
“I just felt pretty much bullet-proof coming into this Olympics and it’s very humbling,” Magnussen said.
“It’s a pretty tough time to learn that you’re human.”
The swimmers have watched their three long course world records all fall in London, and after collecting just one gold among their eight medals they face the prospect of failing to win two titles for the first time since Barcelona in 1992.
“If we don’t win more than one gold medal I’m sure we will all be disappointed,” Green admitted on Thursday.
“I’m sure the swimmers are as well because they have lofty expectations as a team to perform exceptionally well.
“We would love to have more gold medals, absolutely.
“The swim team is trying to get their athletes to fulfil the expectations of the athletes, the Australian public and the media.”
Magnussen still has hopes in the 50m freestyle after he and compatriot Eamon Sullivan qualified for the semi-finals.
Magnussen’s 100m freestyle silver was one of three won by Australian on day five.
The women’s 200m freestyle team of Bronte Barratt, Melanie Schlanger, Kylie Palmer and Alicia Coutts also had to settle for silver behind the fast finishing Americans.
Women’s rowing Pair Sara Tait and Kate Hornsey also finished second behind Britain.
Beach volleyballer Natalie Cook’s 20-year Olympic career ended when she slumped to a third straight defeat with partner Tamsin Hinchley. – AAP
Read more: Aussie World Record in London
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