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SA responds to swim team criticism

AAP logoAAP 24/08/2016

Swimming Australia says it's waiting for a response from the Australian Olympic Committee over reported criticism of the swim team at the Rio Games.

SA CEO Mark Anderson says he expects to meet AOC officials during the next week to discuss the issue and why it was not raised with swim team officials beforehand.

A Fairfax report at the weekend claimed the swim team had set themselves apart from the rest of the Australian team in Rio.

It said AOC Games team boss Kitty Chiller was angry when she heard the swim team had taken down posters of past Olympic champions such as Herb Elliott and Cathy Freeman from the entrance to their floors at the athletes village.

Along with the posters went the AOC's "one team" logo, replaced by the swimmers' "our team", it said.

Anderson said he'd immediately written to the AOC for an explanation as to why no one had raised any issues with swim team officials before the claims appeared in media.

He also said senior AOC officials met with the team leadership in Rio earlier this week and reinforced to the swimmers and coaches that AOC team officials had no issues with the swimmers' behaviour.

"We are proud of our team, our swimmers, coaches and staff - and the way they conducted themselves in and out of the water during the Olympics," said Anderson.

"In victory and defeat they have supported each other and once our competition was complete they actively supported all athletes that made up the Australian team.

"We celebrate together the great achievements in winning three of Australia's eight gold medals in Rio, the 10 medals in total and each of our swimmers that recorded personal bests on sports biggest stage.

"Every swimmer sets out to perform to their best and while not everyone was able to do that, they all represented our country with dignity and class."

Anderson also declared the swim team had taken a step forward, despite coming back with fewer medals than widely expected.

"We have made progress," he said. "We were seventh on the swimming medal tally in London.

"As a result of the three gold medals we have elevated to second behind the Americans in Rio.

"Medalling in five of the six relay events displayed the depth of the team. "

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