Australian Olympic gold medallist and Mean Machine swimming team member Neil Brooks, claims he won a bronze medal in the Los Angeles Olympics with "the worst hangover in the history of mankind".
In an explosive autobiography to be released later this month, the former Perth swimmer reveals that claims of poor behaviour and alcohol abuse in Australia's swimming team are nothing new.
In the autobiography In The Deep End Brooks talks about his bronze medal winning swim in the heats of 100m medley relay in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
"I am pretty sure I hold one Olympic record that will never be broken. Winning an Olympic bronze medal with the worst hangover in the history of mankind," he writes.
Brooks had completed his swim in the 4x100-metre freestyle relay, the only event he was originally scheduled to compete in, and went to drink in the beer garden on the outskirts of the Olympic village.
"We had one of the biggest celebration nights in history and never left the beer garden. I remember waking up on the grass at 7am with Justin Lemberg and one of the other guys standing over me. Justin said, 'you're swimming in an hour Brooksy'," Brooks recalls.
Brooks was being called on to race because Mark Stockwell had a bad shoulder and was being saved for the final.
Brooks tried to push the swim to team mates Greg Fasala or Michael Delany.
"Lemberg said, 'look over your left shoulder'. Fasala looked clinically dead; he had one arm floating in the fountain and he wasn't moving," Brooks writes.
According to his team-mates Delany was still out partying and couldn't be found.
Brooks said he had to be carried back to his accommodation and had coffee and breakfast poured into him.
He swam the heat in 49.3 seconds, just two tenths slower than he had in the freestyle relay - in which Australia had won a silver medal - and helped the team qualify in second place for the final.
Brooks said he threw up in a drain after the race.
Because the team came in third behind the USA and Canada in the final Jon Sieben and Brooks were awarded bronze medals for competing in the heats.
In the book Brooks outlines his battle with alcohol, his run-ins with authority and his broken relationships.
The autobiography is a no-holds-barred look at the adrenalin packed highs and devastating lows the swimmer and former television personality has been through.
Born in England in 1962 to a 17-year-old single mother, Brooks was adopted by bricklayer dad Mick Brooks and his wife Nora at the age of six months and migrated to Perth in 1966.
Brooks deals with the tragedies in his life, the death of his adoptive mother, the failure of being unable to connect with his natural mother and the disastrous business dealings which eventually led him to flee Australia for Europe.
Brooks, now aged 50, has been through more highs and lows than most others would in three lifetimes.
An Olympic champion as part of the 1980 Australian swimming team in Moscow; Commonwealth gold, silver and bronze medals; a stunning swimming career in Australia and the United States and then a highly successful media career in radio and on television for the Ten and Seven networks, Brooks had everything.
But disaster followed. Broken marriages, battles with alcohol and disastrous business deals offset the highs.
Brooks talks openly and honestly about the trials he has been through and his confrontations with authority, which makes for compelling, engrossing reading.
It's written from the heart and his humour shines through even when Brooks is recounting stories from his darkest times.
He also manages to shock with some tales that most would have left unsaid.
A story about flying to London in soiled underwear will have readers squirming in embarrassment for Brooks.
The former swimmer's account of the way the Australians won gold at the Moscow Olympics is riveting, as is his perspective on commentator Norman May's "gold, gold, gold" call.
Brooks writes frankly about his relationships with other swimmers and with the authorities - including his fall-out with Australian Institute of Sport coach Don Talbot - and his transition to night club DJ and the road to his long battle with alcohol.
There's a story about a very drunk Olympic swimmer Mark Tonelli being stripped naked, decorated with Australian flags between his buttocks and put in a hotel lift with the buttons for every floor pushed.
And Brooks has plenty to say about many of Australia's leading sport, media and business personalities.
In the book Brooks talks about how the Mean Machine got its name and how team members shaving their heads provided a rallying call.
He makes comparisons about how swimming in his day was about the lifestyle and "living the dream" unlike swimming today which attracts significantly better financial rewards.
But it's also very clear that shenanigans in the world of swimming are not restricted to today's crop of athletes.
- WA Today