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Five Kookaburras reprimanded after flying COVID coop to buy beer

AOC chef de mission Ian Chesterman said he was disappointed in the actions of the players. It is the first reported breach of COVID protocols by an Australian team member since the Games began two weeks ago.

“While I understand the players’ disappointment following their loss in the gold medal match we have been abundantly clear about the expectations of this team while we are in Tokyo,” Chesterman said at a hastily called press conference.

“The rules are there to keep safe and for us to keep our commitment to the Games organisers and the Japanese people.”

Australia’s men’s hockey coach Colin Batch said the players were remorseful and their behaviour was out of character.

The AOC declined to name the players.

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The players were lamenting what had taken place hours earlier in their nerve-jangling final against Belgium when at 3am, three team members decided to leave the village to find beer. They came back with two slabs.

When that had been drunk, another two players ventured out again at 6am but returned empty handed.

The players reported the incident to team management on Friday. The officials in turn passed it on to Chesterman, who reported the breach to Tokyo2020 organisers.

Chesterman said there would be no further action against the group of five.

“The players have apologised and are deeply remorseful.

“We’re not going to name the players. There is no need to name and shame … their teammates know who they are. The players did the right thing by self-reporting … all players have tested negative [for COVID].

“The breach is deeply disappointing to me.”

With Scott Spits

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