Australia serves up drinking measures

Adam Ashley Cooper is among the six Australian internationals forced to miss this weekend's game with Scotland.

Story highlights

  • Australian Olympic Committee issues stringent drinking code
  • Move comes a day after six Australian rugby players were barred for 'inappropriate' alcohol consumption
  • Australia's swimmers and rowers fell foul of alcohol at 2012 Olympics

As they seek solace from the ignominy of a ban from representing their country because of a drinking bout, six Australian rugby internationals might just have been served the perfect tonic - knowing that they are not part of the country's Olympic team.

A day after a total of 15 players were disciplined for breaching 'internal team protocol', the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) issued guidelines about how its own athletes should behave at future Games after the consumption of alcohol.

There is to be no 'swaying, staggering or falling down' while rambling or boisterous conversations, annoying team members and difficulty in paying attention to others are also outlawed.

While drinking may be permitted outside the Olympic Village, team members have been left in no doubt as to the expectations now placed upon them.

"These restrictions have been implemented to ensure that Australia's Olympic athletes are given the opportunity to compete to the best of their ability and with distinction," said a statement bearing the name of AOC President John Coates.

The failure to comply with these directives, which include the non-consumption of any alcohol in the Olympic village, would likely lead to expulsion from the team camp.

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The first test for Australian athletes will come at the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February.

The measures came after a 2012 Olympic Games where some Australian athletes were criticized for their drunken behavior at an Olympics where the nation collected its lowest medal haul in 20 years.

The swimming team's drunken behavior was particularly frowned upon following an independent review, while a rower was detained by police for damaging shop windows after a drinking session.

Last week, it was the turn of Australia's rugby players to hit the headlines for their drinking.

Veteran international Adam Ashley Cooper was one of the six suspended, along with Nick Cummins, Liam Gill, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson and Paddy Ryan.

While the latter will miss the match against Wales later this month, the remaining five will all miss this weekend's clash with Scotland.

Yet the extent of the consumption of what coach Ewen McKenzie called "inappropriate levels of alcohol" went even further, with a further nine players warned as to their future conduct.

"Let's be clear - these are internal sanctions and aren't a result of any complaints or reports of inappropriate or sinister behavior while our players were out," said the former international.

"We've done this because we need to continually reinforce the need for our players to make smart decisions to benefit the team.

"The worst thing you could do for the Wallabies in the long term is nothing, because that would mean we would be ignoring poor culture and a significant performance issue."

Despite the drinking spree, which took place early on Wednesday morning of last week, Australia defeated Ireland 32-15 in Dublin three days later, with Cummins among the try scorers.

Several Australian rugby players have been involved in drinking incidents in recent times, including James O'Connor -- who lost his contract with the national team as a result -- and Kurtley Beale, who has sought counseling for his problems.

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