NINE Australian athletes whose Olympic accreditations were altered could be left stranded in Rio because team officials have not been able to pay their fine.
A public holiday in Rio on Monday means the Australian Olympics Committee will still not be able to pay the $47,000 fine and collect the athletes’ confiscated passports unless they can do so outside the city.
Australia’s team is due to leave Rio on a chartered flight on Monday night but the nine athletes might be left behind until a second flight on Tuesday.
Australian chef de mission Kitty Chiller says the athletes don’t have their passports but team officials might have to drive out of Rio to pay the fine.
Chiller admits, however, the logistics of doing so remain unclear.
“It is a public holiday in Rio today and it is actually physically not possible to have the fine paid and passports delivered today,” Chiller said on Sunday.
“Our latest understanding is that we will need to drive out of Rio to make the payment and collect the passports.
“We will do everything we can to get the passports back.”
The nine – cyclists Ashlee Ankudinoff and Melissa Hoskins, rugby sevens player Ed Jenkins, archers Alec Potts and Ryan Tyack, rowers Olympia Aldersey, Fiona Albert and Lucy Stephens, and hockey player Simon Orchard – were charged with falsifying a document.
They were fined 10,000 reais (about $A4100) each and placed on a two-year