Nugent under fire over 'childish incident'

Yahoo!7 February 21, 2013, 1:17 pm

Australia's head swimming coach Leigh Nugent has come under fire for reportedly dismissing accusations of misbehaviour by the men's relay team.

Nugent reportedly said to an unnamed coach that "your girls are flirting with the Dream Team" when told the relay team had been allegedly harassing female swimmers and acting inappropriately.

News Limited reported the female swimmers were being harassed with prank calls during the swim team's staging camp in Manchester.

A coach and a senior member of the swimming team approached Nugent the day after the alleged incidents occurred.

The head coach said he now regretted not following up an incident he described as "childish behaviour".

"It didn't raise alarm bells to me, but in hindsight it probably should have raised alarm bells," he said on ABC radio.

"My regret now is I didn't follow it up."

His alleged comments may have related to swimmer Stephanie Rice, who attended Dream Team matches during the Olympics and was seen spending time with USA star Kobe Bryant during a velodrome event.

The allegations are the latest to come out after a report slamming the Australian swimming team's culture as "toxic" was released this week.

The reports of prank calls were not a part of the review, as only five of the 10 coaches involved with the team were interviewed in the inquiry.

It is believed only one of those coaches knew about the prank calls.

Swimming Australia president Barclay Nettlefold said that any incident would be fully investigated by the organisation's new integrity unit.

"If these sorts of things have occurred we will certainly make sure that the Integrity Panel looks into these areas," Nettlefold said.

"Leigh will have to put his case to it, I would have thought ... whilst we are fully supporting Leigh and understand the pressure he was under - he was frazzled by it all."

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  1. Gerard05:32pm Thursday 21st February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Representing your country is a job! The swimming Olympic Team were not going to London on a much as they may have imagined. The fact that it was reported one or more of them felt isolated and lonely is an abject disgraced on the head coach who clearly had his 'head in the clouds!' Maybe Mick Malthouse would have been a better choice to take care of, and motivate the team. Shame on the coaching staff of the Australian National Swimming Team.

  2. Gerard05:27pm Thursday 21st February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    As exciting as it must have been (should have been) for all the swimmers representing their country; it still wasn't meant to be a holiday per se. At the end of the day the swimmers were working on behalf of their country; that's business! Work before pleasure as the 'saying' goes. The management/coaches failed miserably in their duty to keep it business and professional. The fact that one or some swimmers felt isolated and lonely is damming on the Australian Coaches; particularly 'head in the clouds' head coach!

  3. Gypsy04:42pm Thursday 21st February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Time for a new couch - he's "dreaming". The lead up and all the nonsense that was going on well before the Games lead to a gloomy result. Move on, start again, do better in the future. End of story.

  4. arthur04:31pm Thursday 21st February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    The rot started when the swimming mob selected Darcy. All down hill from there. Serves Australian Swimming right.

  5. Croc04:23pm Thursday 21st February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    glen are forgetting that the womens team far out performed the bunch of has beens and no talents that made up the mens swimming team.

    1 Reply
  6. Croc04:21pm Thursday 21st February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    If Leigh Nugent was under the opinion that the mens swimming team that went to London were "the dream team" then he is the dreamer they were a bunch of combacks and spoiled brats plus one thug who wont pay his bills declares himself bankrupt then goes on holidays all over Europe. No Leigh Nugent the mens swimming team at London were I would say the worst team of misfits Australia had every produced. Full of has been and under performers.

    1 Reply
  7. glen04:13pm Thursday 21st February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    How much more pathetic can the current pro female system get ???? Since when was some juvenile phone pranking able to be translated ( with a supposed straight face ) into female specific harassment ???? Is there any human action still left open to Males that is not able to be twisted into " sexual/ female/ inappropriate harassment "...?? How protected do women have to be by the current Feminist Lobby manipulated media , Courts and Government in order to feel "equal"? It makes things so much harder for women that actually DO have real complaints .

  8. Lordy03:58pm Thursday 21st February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Australia is about to welcome it's 1st female moslem to the Olympic team . Special allowances are to be made, she will be allowed to wear a full Burqa & her trainer husband will be able to beat her with a stick for encouragement all in accordance with Sharia law . The word is that Gillards Government intends to use the Olympics to show the world how welcoming Australia is to Multi culturalism & the breeding out of the True Blue Aussie . It's happening already , tick tock .....

  9. karl03:40pm Thursday 21st February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    nothing in Australian sport will compare to the looming disaster,,that being the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games,,its already Blownout by 2.5 Billion,it looks like it could be as High #$%$5 Billion dollars when it arrives in 2018...all funded by the Australian Tax Payer.....

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  10. My03:10pm Thursday 21st February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Sure Leigh Nugent's job is to look pretty,enjoy the games, collect a big fat pay and supervise an orgie.