Australian Athletes Banned from Drinking Alcohol at Sochi 2014?!


Scotty Lago’s famous drunken antics at Vancouver 2010 cost him an early flight home

It was reported by BBC Sport last week that the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) have banned all Australian athletes competing in next year’s Winter Olympics from drinking alcohol inside the Olympic Village during the Games.

According to the BBC, the new rules state that athletes can drink alcohol responsibly outside the Olympic Village after their events, but no boozy bevvies can be consumed in the Village or on the flight back home!

Athletes will be sent home if they’re caught “swaying or having rambling conversations”

The restrictions are pretty hilarious, particularly as the offences listed include “swaying” and “having rambling conversations”. I don’t think anyone can regulate what constitutes as a ‘rambling conversation’ – not even the AOC. It seems like the Olympic Committees are taking things a little too serious for our liking. Do the AOC simply not trust their athletes to not let things get out of hand?

While all the other countries are likely to be having an almighty piss-up in the Village post-event, the poor Australian team will be sat sipping Diet Cokes, like a grumpy teenagers that have been given a talking to by their mums.

Young rider Scotty James styling this inverted tailgrab at the BEO 2011. He will be among those not allowed to drink at Sochi 2014. Photo: Tristan

We already know that the ban won’t affect famously tee-total riders like Torah Bright, but what about Scotty James? The wee Aussie was only 14-years-old when he competed in the last Winter Olympics. Now he’s finally of legal drinking age, he won’t be able to celebrate potential victory with a small glass of bubbly. Unless he heads to one of the local bars, which aren’t exactly er…… extensive.

However, it’s not like snowboarders have a totally clean record when it comes to getting rat-arsed at the Olympics. Take the infamous Scotty Lago scandal at Vancouver 2010. The American was sent home early after he went round a party, dangling his medal in front of his penis and asking girls to kiss it!

The Aussies do have a bit of reputation themselves for behaving badly when under the influence. Back at the London 2012 Olympics, rower Josh Booth was detained by police after damaging a shop front on a night out. Australia’s swimming team suffered the worst Olympic performance in two decades after supposedly indulging in a “toxic” culture of booze and misusing prescription drugs. But does this mean that the Olympic Committees should take such a strong approach to the teams at Sochi 2014?

The new alcohol rules instated by the AOC list the following behaviour as being ‘inappropriate or disruptive to others’:

  • Being disorderly or argumentative
  • Swaying, staggering or falling down
  • Being bad-tempered, aggressive or using offensive language
  • Speech which is loud and boisterous
  • Annoying fellow team members and others


What do you think? Should athletes be banned from drinking alcohol in the Olympic Village? Or is this just another case of Olympic Committees going one step too far? Let us know your thoughts below.


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