The atmosphere inside the Australia swim team at the London Olympics has been described as 'culturally toxic' with incidents of prescription drug use and bullying prevalent.
It also found there were numerous incidents relating to alcohol use and breaking curfew.
The shocking findings were part of 'The Bluestone Review' into the leadership of Australian swimmers, which will be released today.“Standards, discipline and accountabilities for the swim team at the London Olympics were too loose,” the report said.
“Situations were left to bleed with not enough follow through for fear of disrupting preparation for competition.
“Although few situations relating to London reported through this review were truly grave in nature, they compounded in significance as no one reigned in control.
“There were enough culturally toxic incidents across enough team members that breached agreements (such as getting drunk, misuse of prescription drugs, breaching curfews, deceit, bullying) to warrant a strong, collective leadership response that included coaches, staff and the swimmers. No such collective action was taken.”
Morale was apparently at an all-time low during the London Olympics with such an intense fopcus on winning gold medals.
Players struggled to compete for attention ahead of the 4x100m freestyle relay and James Magnussen as he bid to win the 100m freestyle.“Poor behaviour and disrespect within the team were not regulated or resisted strongly by other team members, and it was left unchecked by or without consequence by staff and coaches on a number of occasions,” the report found.
“Some individual incidents of unkindness, peer intimidation, hazing and just ‘bad form’ as a team member that were escalated to personal coaches were not addressed and had no further consequence.
“It seems there was a lack of authority (including moral authority) within the group, which occasionally peaked in a mood where the boldest took centre stage.
“At its least attractive, the team dynamic became like a schoolyard clamour for attention and influence.”