'Deeply disappointing': Aussies in hot water over Olympic Covid breach

·2-min read
The Kookaburras team are seen here in a huddle before a match at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Pic: Getty
The Kookaburras team are seen here in a huddle before a match at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Pic: Getty

Five Australian hockey stars keen to drown their sorrows after Thursday night's heartbreaking loss to Belgium, have landed in trouble with officials after breaching Covid-19 protocols at the Olympics.

The five members of the silver medal-winning men's hockey team, the Kookaburras, have been reprimanded after leaving the athletes' village to buy alcohol.

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The Aussies went down to Belgium in a gut-wrenching penalty shootout defeat after the gold medal match ended 1-1 after regular time in Tokyo.

It was a shattering way for the Kookaburras' Olympic dream to come to an end but for a small group of players, their decision go on an early morning expedition for alcohol has left Australian officials miffed.

One group of players went to a nearby store on Friday at 3am and bought two cartons of beer.

And another group left for the store at 6am but returned without a purchase.

Australia's chef de mission Ian Chesterman said leaving the athletes' village was a "clear breach" of Covid-19 protocols at the Tokyo Games.

The five players who left the village did not interact with members of the public and both groups were away from their accommodation for about 20 minutes.

Covid breach 'deeply disappointing'

"There have been no concerns raised about how they conducted themselves while outside of the village or within the village however the players' actions were a clear breach of the COVID-19 protocols in place for these Tokyo Olympic Games," Chesterman told reporters in Tokyo.

"While I understand the players' disappointment following their loss ... we have been abundantly clear about the expectations for this team while we're in Tokyo.

"The breach is deeply disappointing to me and I know it is to Hockey Australia as well.

"It's frustrating that the actions of a few have impacted on the Kookaburras ... as well as distracted the attention from where it should rightly be after two incredible weeks of sport."

Pictured here, the silver medal-winning Kookaburras squad after the gold medal match with Belgium.
The silver medal-winning Kookaburras squad is seen here after the penalty shootout heartbreak against Belgium. Pic: AAP

The players self-reported their breach to Australian officials and the entire Kookaburras squad tested for coronavirus. They all returned negative results.

The hockey players are now being isolated from the rest of the Australian team ahead of their scheduled departure on Saturday afternoon.

Chesterman refused to name the five players who were disciplined, after previously reprimanding some rowers, soccer players and men's rugby sevens players for alcohol-related incidents.

with AAP

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