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Rio 2016 will be no party for Australian athletes after booze ban

Members of the Australian Olympic team pose for pictures outside the athletes village in London

Associated Press

The party is over for Australian Olympic athletes attending the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

Australian Olympic Team Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller has declared the Olympic Village in Rio an alcohol free zone. The ban will apply to both athletes and officials.

The decision was made after problems arose at the London 2012 Games with athletes holding parties and disrupting fellow Aussies who were waiting to compete in their respective sports. Members of the swimming and rowing teams were singled out in separate reviews following the London Games for misuse of prescription drugs, drunkenness, curfew breaches, deceit and bullying.

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"Athletes are free to go for a drink outside the Village once they have finished competing, but we insist that they drink responsibly," said Chiller. "We don't want them rolling around the Village drunk and disrupting other athletes who are about to compete."

Chiller said the alcohol ban is part of creating the best environment for athletes to achieve success.

"If we're about high performance, then athletes are not going to be walking into the Village at 7am drunk or making noise or disrupting other athletes," she said, noting that most countries send their athletes home once they have finished competing.

"If athletes cannot, will not or do not contribute to that Team approach, there will be no room for them in the Olympic Village".

The edict coincided with the launch of Australia's "Campaign Rio" which has set a target of a top five finish in the medal standings in Brazil. Australia finished 10th in the medal tally at the London games, its poorest showing since 1992. Australia has seen a decline in its medal performance since finishing fourth at both the Sydney and Athens Olympic Games. In Beijing in 2008, the team slipped to sixth.

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