Australian rower Josh Booth to apologise, pay damage bill: AOC
Australian rower Josh Booth will offer a personal apology and pay £1400 to the owners of two shops he damaged in a bid to avoid criminal charges, the Australian Olympic Committee says.
AUSTRALIAN rower Josh Booth will offer a personal apology and pay £1400 to the owners of two shops he damaged in a bid to avoid criminal charges, the Australian Olympic Committee says.
Windows at two businesses in Egham, southwest of London, were damaged, and the men’s eight crew member was arrested before passing out at the local police station and hitting his head.
He was taken to hospital as a precaution and later released, with instructions to return to police for questioning on Friday.
AOC Deputy Chef de Mission Chris Fydler said Booth and the AOC had been working with local police in a bid to avoid criminal damage charges.
“We’re working with the local police and it is at their suggestion that were following the steps that they’ve provided to us,” Fydler told reporters in London.
“As long as they’re conducted appropriately … we feel confident that we can work with those police to avoid those charges for Josh.”
He said the incident was out of character for Booth, who was at a loss to explain his actions.
“Josh is very apologetic and embarrassed about what’s happened and certainly wants to make good for any damage that he caused,” Fydler said.
“It’s quite out of character for Josh, he really can’t explain why he actually conducted himself in that particular way but accepts that was what happened and is prepared for any of the repercussions.”
AOC team boss Nick Green has spent time with Booth at Eton Dorney, the Olympic rowing venue, and will make a statement about disciplinary action at 5pm on Friday.
“This has been an embarrassing situation not just for rowing but for all of us as well,” Fydler said.
“We expect a much higher standard of behaviour from all our athletes and will certainly be reminding section managers, as various sports start to complete, that a level of behaviour is expected of their athletes.”
The men’s eight finished sixth in their final on Wednesday.
A staff member at one damaged business told AAP that police had said the rower was confused, and mistakenly thought he was breaking into his own home.