Drunk Aussie rower to face UK police

Drunk and dazed after a night spent commiserating his dashed Olympic dream, Australian rower Joshua Booth allegedly smashed windows at two English businesses, apparently thinking he was breaking into his own home.

The Olympic debutant, 21, from Melbourne, must now answer to British police after being arrested for alleged criminal damage in Egham, southwest of London.

The men's eight crew member will also have to face the Australian Olympic Committee, whose officials had warned them to "behave appropriately".

"From what he had said to the policeman, he thought he was at home and was trying to get into his own home, just drunk and disoriented," said a worker at B.W. Dartnell and Associates, where Booth allegedly used a large planter box to break a patterned glass window.

Dressed in his yellow Australian tracksuit, Booth had been out drinking with fellow rowers on Wednesday after his crew finished last in their final at nearby Eton Dorney.

The worker at the small engineering company, who asked not to be named, was called by police about 2am (BST) and alerted to the damage. Australian team boss Nick Green got a phone call from police at 3.30am.

Green said he was told Booth had fainted and hit his head after being arrested and taken to Staines police station over the alleged criminal damage.

The athlete was taken to hospital as a precaution, but was later released.

Booth has not been charged by police but must front up for questioning on Friday.

Green declined to comment on whether he would be disciplined by the AOC, saying he was awaiting the outcome of the police investigation.

"We would be reminding our athletes again, because we reminded them on their arrival, that we expect athletes when they have finished their competition, to consume alcohol in a correct manner and behave appropriately," AOC media director Mike Tancred told AAP.

The B.W. Dartnell and Associates staffer said no-one from the Australian team or the Olympic movement had contacted them, and the damage bill was expected to be about STG500 ($A750).

"These athletes have got to be able to take defeat, not just glory," she said.

Two doors down, a window at Hugo's Restaurant was also smashed.

Men's eight Coxswain Toby Lister confirmed some members of the crew had been out for a "few beers" after their race.

"We'd all been disappointed. You don't want to go to the Olympics and finish sixth," he said.