ANZ has come out with a financial theory to explain Australia’s slow Olympic start, reflecting on the fact that the Australian dollar is trading at its highest levels during an Olympic year.

Tongue firmly in cheek, the bank is blaming the strength of the Australian dollar for a poor performance so far. The bank’s chief economist Warren Hogan says Aussie athletes may be more tempted to skip training and enjoy the benefits of having plenty of spending money.

He told The Courier Mail his team found Olympic performance was at its best when the dollar was weak.

 More seriously, a higher-value dollar meant federal budget restraints, which could impact on the number of Olympic support staff, he said.

 Australia has achieved just one of the 302 gold medals awarded at the games.

 "All the while the currency is trading around levels that in real terms are the highest ever during an Olympic year," Hogan said.