19 Feb 2013

Olympic review blames 'toxic culture' for poor swim result

9:07 pm on 19 February 2013

A report reviewing the culture and leadership in Australia's swimming team has slammed a "toxic" culture that saw athletes abuse prescription drugs, alcohol and curfews during the London Olympics in 2012.

It was Australia's worst Olympic swimming performance in 20 years, with just one gold medal won.

The independent review was commissioned by Swimming Australia after the national swim team's disappointing performance at the London Games.

The Bluestone Review was released on Tuesday morning and reveals there were enough culturally toxic incidents involving alcohol and prescription drugs to warrant a collective leadership response, but no collective action was taken, the ABC reports.

It says the Olympic Village environment was a "candy shop of distraction" and standards of discipline and accountability for the swim team were too loose.

Swimmers reported feelings of disconnect and described the Games as "the lonely Olympics" and "the individual Olympics".