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2016 Rio Summer Olympics

Australian Athletes Detained in Rio Over Credentials Not at Fault: Official

The nine Australian Olympic athletes detained and fined in Rio over credentials that were tampered with were not responsible, an Australian Olympic Committee official said.

The athletes were detained at around 7 p.m. Friday while attending a basketball game between Australia and Serbia, and were charged with falsifying a document, the team said in a statement.

The athletes were fined 10,000 Brazilian reals (about $3,120 USD), which the olympic committee will pay, the team said.

Image:
Fiona de Jong, the Australian Olympic Committee secretary-general. AP

"Very disappointed that our athletes had to go through what they did go through last night," Australia Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller said.

"I think it’s very important to note that the athletes were definitely not at fault," she said. The tampering involved a sticker being placed over the credentials, Australia's 9 News reported.

The AOC said it is looking into what happened. "The AOC has launched an internal investigation as to who was responsible for not adhering to the accreditation rules," Deputy Chef de Mission, Fiona de Jong said in a statement.

The fine was part of a resolution to the cases that will avoid criminal convictions.

The nine athletes are Ashlee Ankudinoff, cycling; Melissa Hoskins, cycling; Ed Jenkins, rugby; Alec Potts, archery; Ryan Tyack, archery; Olympia Aldersey, rowing; Fiona Albert, rowing; Lucy Stephan, rowing; and Simon Orchard, hockey, the team said.

The athletes’ passports were seized until the fines are paid. After that the passports will be returned and they will be free to leave Brazil, the team said.