Australia’s hockey star faces Rio ban for drink-drive cover-up

Canberra, June 1 (IANS) Australian hockey star Anna Flanagan could be disallowed from travelling to the Rio Olympics, after taking her lawyer’s advice to cover up a drink-driving charge she picked up in March.

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) on Wednesday urged the defender-cum-drag-flicker to “explain” what happend. There is possbility that she might be banned from traveling with the team to Rio, reports Xinhua news agency.

Hockey Australia only found out about the cover-up on Friday, and was reportedly shocked at the 24-year-old’s actions. Cameron Vale, the Chief Executive of Hockey Australia, said his organisation would drop Flanagan from the squad if the AOC decides that is the right decision, but until that time the player is still in line for selection.

“As per our statement on Saturday, Hockey Australia will now look to support Anna and will work through all relevant Australian Olympic Committee processes that govern the selection of athletes for the Rio Olympics,” he said.

“She remains eligible to be nominated for selection by Hockey Australia to the AOC.”

News Corp reported Flanagan was drinking wine with friends back in March and decided to drive home, before she was stopped by police and blew over 0.15 – more than three times the legal limit in Australia. She reportedly accepted advice from her lawyer to cover up the incident as she was told it might put her place in the team heading to the Rio games in doubt.

Australia’s Chef de Mission for the Olympics Kitty Chiller has already set precedent for athlete conduct ahead of Rio, after she scathingly threatened to ban controversial tennis players Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic from competing after a string of poor behavioural showings on the ATP tour.

The hockeyroos’ final Olympic squad is set to be announced in late June, following the Champions Trophy tournament.

–IANS

pur/vt

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