21 Mar 2013

Nugent resigns as Australia head swim coach

4:27 pm on 21 March 2013

Leigh Nugent has quit as head coach of Australia's scandal-hit swimming team after enduring months of pressure in the wake of a damning report into the behaviour of his swimmers at the London Olympics.

Nugent, who oversaw Australia's worst performance in the Olympic pool in 20 years at London, had volunteered his resignation but hoped to return in a different role after taking a "break".

Australia's swimmers, who have traditionally scooped a big haul from the Olympic pool, returned home from London with a solitary gold medal and without an individual title.

The disappointment sparked a root-and-branch review which probed allegations of drunkenness, bullying and the abuse of prescription drugs within the team in the leadup to London.

The resulting report released earlier this year alleged a "toxic" environment had been allowed to develop.

Nugent's contract was to run until the end of the year with an option of a further three years to take in the 2016 Rio Olympics.