Don't sway or ramble, Australia's Sochi team warned

Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:04am EST
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By Martyn Herman

(Reuters) - Woe betide any Australian athlete over-indulging in Russian hospitality in Sochi next year after the country's Olympic Committee said "swaying or having rambling conversations" could lead to an early flight home.

Clarifying stringent new rules on behavior, the AOC said drinking alcohol would be permitted outside the Olympic Village but left athletes in no doubt about their conduct, saying they could be kicked out if there is any repeat of the behavior issues that plagued the Australian team at the London Olympics.

"Team members are permitted to consume alcohol responsibly," a statement said, before listing a range of behavior that would be frowned upon.

Being disorderly or argumentative, being bad tempered, swaying or falling down, talking boisterously, having rambling conversations and annoying fellow team members would all result in possible disciplinary action, it said.

No alcohol will be permitted in the Olympic Village or on the return flight to Australia following the Games.

Ian Chesterman, Australia's Chef de Mission for the Sochi Olympics next February, welcomed the new guidelines.

"Our goal as a team is to go to Sochi, perform at our best and represent our country with distinction," Chesterman said in a statement.

FIERCE BACKLASH   Continued...

An employee arranges medals for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games during a presentation for the public at a jewellery shop in St. Petersburg September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk