Australia coach Leigh Nugent quits

SYDNEY -- Swimming Australia says Leigh Nugent has quit as head coach and will be replaced on an interim basis for the national championships next month.

Nugent, who took over as head coach in 2009, was criticized after Australia's worst showing in Olympic swimming in 20 years at the London Games.

Critics cited a lack of leadership as a contributor to poor team morale.

In February, members of the men's 4x100-meter relay team admitted they took a sleep medication and engaged in disruptive behavior during the Australian team's pre-Olympic camp in Manchester, England. Nugent was told of the pranks, but was reported to have taken no action.

Swimming Australia said in a statement Wednesday that an interim coach, new chief executive officer and high performance director will be appointed soon.

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