View Comments
Magnussen was hung out to dry
James Magnussen. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Swim star James Magnussen claims he was "hung out to dry" over the Stilnox drug episode.

The 21-year-old, one of the Olympic men's 4x100m freestyle relay team who admitted taking the drug in a bonding session before the London Olympics, was humiliated at a news conference on Friday.

At the conference, he and teammates Eamon Sullivan, Matt Targett, Cameron McEvoy and Tommaso D'Orsogna had to admit taking the drug.

Magnussen told Channel 7's Sunday Night program he was young and inexperienced at the time and was ready to move on from the controversy. He agreed with a suggestion he had been made a scapegoat. "For lack of a better word on my behalf, right now that is one way of putting it," Magnussen said.

He said the shamed relay swimmers were trying to help rebuild unity within the Australian team.

"We sincerely wanted to come together as a relay team and bond and do a job for Australia," Magnussen said. "I have lost a lot of sleep over it and I have lost sleep in the past waiting for it to come out. But I do think the buck stops here. I will be glad to put this one behind me."

Magnussen said the team went to see a movie and discussed over a meal taking Stilnox, which the Australian Olympic Committee had banned.

The swimmers also admitted making prank calls to other team members and knocking on doors.

Magnussen said his parents gave him a stern dressing down when he told them after his return from London that he took the drug.

"They definitely gave me a pretty solid lecture," he said. "I definitely won't be mucking up again."