Embattled Aussie swim coach quits

Embattled Aussie swim coach quits

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”, Swimming Australia president Barclay Nettlefold told reporters.

“The last four-six months have been very heavy (for Nugent),” Nettlefold said on Wednesday. “It was his decision. He came to us. We commend him on his decision.
“He was convinced that he needed to move on ... He said he was tired and exhausted.”
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.

An admission from five of the men’s freestyle relay team that they took Stilnox, a sedative banned by the Australian Olympic Committee, and engaged in schoolboy pranks at a team camp before the Games.