Swimming Australia president Barclay Nettlefold set the tone for yesterday’s “tell all” press conference with his opening statement commending the six swimmers for coming forward.
Was he kidding? Does Mr Nettlefold truly believe these swimmers would have come forward of their own accord had a review not ripped the lid off the “toxic” culture existing in Australian swimming?
These swimmers don’t need or deserve commendation. They deserve discipline.
They put themselves at risk by taking Stilnox during a “bonding’”session leading up to the London Olympics.
They blatantly disregarded an Australian Olympic Committee ban on the use of the prescription drugs.They disrupted the Olympic preparations of teammates.
So yesterday they sat before the nation with their commendation from Swimming Australia and apologised for their behaviour.
In this case “sorry” doesn’t cut it.
The integrity panel now charged with deciding on penalties for these swimmers must be strong in sending a message that the days of such behaviour are done.
The ring leaders should be dealt with the harshest and that should include taking away the privilege they so openly abused, of representing their country.
It was encouraging to hear yesterday that Swimming Australia was embarking on a restructure to better run the sport. Clearly, it’s needed.