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Seebohm says dirty half-dozen are lying about their bed-time

By staff writers with AAP, Yahoo!7 February 22, 2013, 7:37 pm

Olympic silver medallist Emily Seebohm says the six Australian swim stars at the centre of the Stilnox scandal are lying about the time their 'bonding session' ended.

And Seven News is disputing the claims of five swimmers that they took just one Stilnox tablet each during the now infamous night in Manchester.

On Friday, six members of Australia's 4x100 freestyle relay team admitted going on a rampage through the team hotel just days before the London Olympics.

Five of the swimmers - James Magnussen, Tommaso D'Orsogna, Cameron McEvoy, Eamon Sullivan and Matthew Targett - admitted mixing Stilnox with stimulants.

The sixth member of the group, James Roberts, says he has never used Stilnox.

The group then charged through the hotel, knocking on doors and waking up their teammates.

Seebohm, who revealed she was the swimmer who had complained to head coach Leigh Nugent, has disputed the swimmers' claims that they were in bed by 10:30pm.

"I remember getting a call between 11 and 11:30 that night by the boys and, you know, it wasn't a pleasant conversation," Seebohm told Seven News.

"They basically said on the phone 'what are you wearing?'".

Seebohm also had some choice words for Nugent, who has admitted he had brushed off reports of the incident as "childish behaviour".

"I wasn't very impressed with Leigh Nugent's comments about that because it was me personally who told Nugget what was going on," she said.

"So, you know, to be on the team with him - I wasn't too happy with that."

Meanwhile, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) could withdraw funding for the five swimmers who have admitted taking Stilnox.

The AOC said on Friday it has decided to hire a Queens Counsel to investigate the drug incident and other allegations of misbehaviour within the Australian Olympic swimming team.

The swimmers have admitted they knew Stilnox had been banned by the AOC weeks beforehand.

"That night we shared some stories and as a group we decided to take the Stilnox," an apologetic Sullivan said.

"It did cross my mind that it was a bad idea.

"I'm not here to defend myself, I'm here to admit I made a bad decision.

"I should have showed more leadership at the time."

Magnussen, dubbed 'The Missile' by press, was a favourite going into the Games. He said the chance to bond with his teammates was a welcome relief from the ongoing hype surrounding his imminent performance.

"I was feeling under so much pressure and it had been building for the best part of a year. The chance to bond with these guys and be normal for one night was in my intention," Magnussen said.

"I have a lot of regrets, but I don't feel it [being a part of the bonding session] affected my performance."

Australian Swimmers' Association general manager and former Olympian Daniel Kowalski read out a statement on the relay swimmers' behalf.

"We all acknowledge that at the time Stilnox was consumed, it had been recently prohibited by the AOC," Kowalski read.

"We own up to it and are deeply sorry."

Kowalski revealed that the Stilnox was prescribed in Australia to Targett and Sullivan prior to it being banned.

The incident reported occurred after a day of bonding between the men's relay team which involved a trip to the movies and dinner.

"It was at this dinner that Matt and Eamon were asked how they had bonded with senior members of the team when they were junior members. Eamon and Matt both shared their stories of initiation onto the relay squad and together we decided to continue in what we felt was a harmless activity and tradition," Kowalski said.

"We didn't think it was anything more childish behaviour and there was nothing untoward about our actions.

"We were all in bed by 10.30pm."

AOC secretary-general Craig Phillips said the five swimmers faced possible sanctions from the Olympic body, including withdrawing funding in the lead up to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The AOC could also ask for money paid under the medal incentive scheme to be returned, meaning Magnussen could be forced to pay back $10,000 given to him for winning a silver medal at the Games.

The swimmers may also have broken an Australian team agreement.

Phillips said the AOC would await the outcome of Swimming Australia's newly-formed integrity panel, who will also investigate the swimmers.

The relay team members also admitted some of them made prank calls and knocked on other teammates' hotel room doors during the night but denied entering any rooms.

Their admission follows the publication of an independent review of the poor swim team campaign at the Games which found "toxic incidents" including misuse of prescription drugs, bullying and hazing went unchecked in the lead up.

"As a result of the revelations this week arising from the swimming reviews, the AOC has decided to engage a Queens Counsel to investigate these incidents further," Phillips said in a statement.

"We would fully expect that the athletes will give their total cooperation to any investigation we mount."

Earlier, swimmer Jade Neilsen revealed details of the late night antics prior to the Olympics, in which her and her roommate had their door barged in by barely clothed members of the relay team.

Neilsen was in camp in Manchester when she witnessed the destructive bender.

"I will confirm that they were being inappropriate and it was towards [name withheld] and I," Neilsen told News Limited.

"I won't specifically say [what happened]. It has sort of already come out pretty much what they've done.

"All I can say is their behaviour was completely inappropriate.

"It was so inappropriate it was not funny. That is all I can really say about that."

In the early hours, just after midnight, a group of male swimmers are believed to have door knocked and made menacing phone calls to female swimmers in camp.

Neilsen answered her door, only to have Magnussen and McEvoy barge in, shirtless. The pair then lingered, with one attempting to lay on one of the athletes' bed, before being asked to leave.

They returned later that morning, but did not enter the room. The women ignored the persistent knocking, this time from Roberts, in his underwear, with McEvoy in tow.

The two women told their coaches they were scared by the intrusion. The men were reportedly acting "strangely", stumbling and being disruptive.

Australia won just one gold medal in the pool in London, their worst Olympic performance in 20 years.

Cameron McEvoy, Eamon Sullivan, James Roberts, James Magnussen, Matt Targett and Tommaso D'Orsogna. SOURCE: Getty Images

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  1. amie reynolds12:04am Sunday 24th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Lets hope the drugs make these morons sterile, because the thought of them ever breeding is scarey.

  2. My Toy11:30pm Saturday 23rd February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    How silly do these guys think the general public is to think we would believe this very cleverly scripted version of what happened. Even blind Freddy could tell just by listening to them, telling their story that this was a load of garbage that they were trying to sell to us. As someone has already mentioned the truth will come out eventually they can't keep this secret for ever. All of them should all loose all the sponsorships and all their endorsements that they have received. make them train in a public pool well away from the other swimmers who are proud to represent this country like proper athletics, and sensible young people. I hope you are all proud, making a real fool of yourselves. Grow Up boys, or I forgot some of you are young men, not that it shows. Wake Up to yourselves idiots! Lastly as for the head coach how long is swimming Australia going to shield him from being interviewed, and telling all of us the Real Truth as to what he knew was happening. Also why he didn't nip it in the bud straight away, rather than just sweep it under the carpet and ignore it.

  3. Joolsy07:24pm Saturday 23rd February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Pity Geoff Heugill and Ian Thorpe had been selected, none of this would have happened and we might have won gold in London. And they were supposed to be has-beens, but at least they would have known how to behave. Well the London lot sure should be after these revelations!

  4. Darryl05:40pm Saturday 23rd February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Marcus, how old are you? My guess would be somewhere between 17-35. If I am wrong and you are of an older vintage I would suggest you seek help for your obvious Drug Addiction. No person of sane thinking could defend any of these morons and if any of the women/girls who have told the Media about it are treated badly by anyone to do with Australian Sport including the Morons, we can only hope they will be dealt with to the FULL extent of the law. Decent people are sick to death of people like yourself and all other drug and alcohol dependent Halfwits.

    1 Reply
  5. Darryl05:22pm Saturday 23rd February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Typically written by a LIB. Only Labor Pollies tell lies???? I don't know how old you are but perhaps you might check out Menzies, Fraser, Howard etc etc befor eyou mouth off again. While you're at it, check out Charlie Court, Richard Court and Barnett here in the west and then have a look at newman in QLD and the Wankers in Vic and NSW. That should see your tiny brain engaged for the next Decade or so.

  6. Judy03:53pm Saturday 23rd February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    I am absolutelly appalled at this behaviour of a small group of athletes representing their country. We all (by way of our taxes) support these people in their chosen sport and expect them to conduct themselves in a way that brings credit on their team and country, and gives our youngsters positive role models. The actions of these boys acting like a pack of morons and immature adolescents is very disappointing and rather disgraceful. I feel their media appearance was well scripted and controlled. It is only a matter of time before the full story will emerge.

  7. robert03:14pm Saturday 23rd February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    To all the defenders of these druggies.How would you like a drug affected bus driver bringing your kids home from school?how would you like a drug affected brain surgeon operating on one of your loved ones?It's hyperthetical i know, but you have no argument defending these people,it is not a "little thing"as some of you describe it,and the day drugs become socially acceptable, you will certainly see the worst outcomes.

  8. robert02:46pm Saturday 23rd February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Marcus: It was not a mistake,drinking arsenic is not a mistake! putting drugs in your pie hole is not a mistake,it is a deliberate act you self rightious fool! you are typical of the gen y or z foolbank,it's ok, we get a second chance if we get caught!!!!!Well it's not ok,and no,these fools are representing our nation,not themselves.The only wankers around are people like you, and those doh dohs who are calling themselves athletes and olympians,braindead druggies is more appropriate !

  9. Big Kev 13302:00pm Saturday 23rd February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    The big problem today is YOU HAVE NO SHAME ! I see so many things turned around by the PC ness that has engulfed us and I'm sick of it. The usual of course is "don't talk to me like that" by the person who is so stupid they even refuse to be told off. You guys are nothing less than a bunch of high strung Pratts who should be evictd from the sport. So good you have to wait for the privacy of an elevator to bully a girl in. Well done guys - PROUD OF YOURSELVES - you probably still are and thats SAD. So hers my deal. I REFUSE TO BUY ANYTHING THAT ANY OF YOUR SPONSORS SELL - LOSERS

  10. Denis01:15pm Saturday 23rd February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Don't like that Seebohm thing. She's pretty ugly in so many ways.