Are Olympic Athletes Allowed To Drink Alcohol? The Rules Are Complicated
Training for the Olympics is rigorous work. Loads of training, specially tailored diets, and a strict schedule might seem like all work and no play. A lot of us regular folks will hit up happy hour to blow off steam after a long week at work, but are Olympians allowed to drink alcohol? The answer is murkier than a draft beer at a British pub, but the short answer seems to be that there is no official Olympic policy against athletes consuming alcohol in their free time.
But that's where things start to get complicated. According to the official online Olympics Athletes Hub, no alcohol is sold within the Olympic Village itself, but athletes can bring in personal alcohol that they are allowed to consume in "private spaces." There is a five-liter-per-person limit to liquids brought through security. Athletes are also allowed to venture out of the Village and into the city, at which point alcohol is sold freely to those of-age in the host country. However, some individual teams — the Dutch men's gymnastics team, for example — have strict policies about their athletes hitting the sauce. Dutch gymnast Yuri van Gelder, 33, was expelled from the Games after allegedly drinking in Rio.
The Australian Olympic Committee doubled-down on the dry Olympic Village philosophy by banning its own athletes from bringing any personal alcohol into the dormitories, but athletes are permitted to "drink responsibly" offsite. This decision was made after questions were raised over the behavior of the Australian swim team during the London Olympics.
So, the IOC has no problems with athletes legally having a few drinks in the host city, but some nations enforce stricter lifestyles on their athletes than others. I leave you with this question — do you think bro BFFs Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte have ever raised a victory glass together?
I think Michael Phelps' face really says it all.
Images: Getty Images