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No more swaying, staggering or falling down for Australian Olympians

November 20, 2013|By David Wharton

The Australian Olympic team is becoming less fun by the minute.

Last month, Aussie officials declared that alcohol will not be allowed in their portion of the athletes' village at the 2014 Sochi Games. Now, they have added the threat of penalty for any "swaying, staggering or falling down."

The ban on drunkenness addresses "inappropriate or disruptive" behavior, including rambling conversations, bad temper and annoying teammates.

Violators could be sent home.

"It is a bit disappointing, I suppose, that you have to put rules like this in," said Kitty Chiller, chef de mission for the 2016 Olympic team. "We're talking about only a very small percentage of athletes who may fall into this bucket."

Two years ago at the London Games, there were reports of rowdiness in the Australian quarters. Athletes who had finished with their events were apparently partying late and keeping teammates awake.

Still, this is Australia, so officials were careful to say that athletes may imbibe at the Olympics, so long as it does not unduly bother others.

"What this policy is all about is not a ban on alcohol," Chiller said. "It's not about stopping people celebrating."

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