Nick D'Arcy and Kenrick Monk will be sent home from the London 2012 Olympics by the Australian Olympic Committee the moment the swimming programme ends mid-way through the Games as a penalty for breaking a code of conduct while on tour in the US this month.
The pair will also be banned from using social media during the Games after having posted photos online of themselves posing with firearms in a California gun store, the AOC announced today.
No parties, no Olympics experience beyond the pool, no cheering on team-mates in other sports for D'Arcy and Monk. The Australia Team Executive ruled their conduct brought themselves into disrepute.
In a letter to the swimmers, Chef de Mission, Nick Green, explained: “Given this incident and our previous discussions concerning your conduct, I now have concerns regarding your lack of judgment. As a member of the 2012 Australian Olympic Team, and as I have reminded you on previous occasions, it is an honour and a privilege to be a member of an Australian Olympic Team.
"Australian Olympians are required to meet very high standards of conduct and we cannot risk the reputation of the Team through non-compliance with the Team Membership Agreement."
Both swimmers will returned home on August 4, assuming they are not up to compete on the last day of racing in the pool in London. The Selection Committee, of Green, Deputy Chef Chris Fydler and AOC Secretary-General Craig Phillips, described the swimmers as "repeat offenders who had shown poor judgment in their decision-making".
"We are prepared to allow them to compete but we have four hundred other Team members to consider and we are not going to have them distracted," the committee said. "It is too big a risk."
Green added that allowing the pair to compete in London "has nothing to do with medals; it is all about upholding Team values, in particular the high standards of behaviour set by those Olympians who came before you".
The swimmers have apologised for posting the offending photos, images which were subsequently removed.
D'Arcy was kicked off the 2008 Olympic team after assaulting former swimmer Simon Cowley and leaving him with multiple facial injuries. D'Arcy declared himself bankrupt last year when a court ordered him to pay Cowley Aus$370,000 in costs.
Monk got off with a warning after he told police last year that he was the victim of a hit and run accident when he had, in fact, injured an elbow by falling off his skateboard.
Swimming Australia issued the following statement:
[We] support the Australian Olympic Committee’s decision to discipline Nick D’Arcy and Kenrick Monk over their poor judgement and inappropriate use of social media this week.
Swimming Australia CEO Kevin Neil said the decision by the AOC is a timely reminder for all team members of their responsibilities as representatives of the Australian Swim Team.
“This was a case of extremely poor judgement and through our own Social Media Guidelines, we acted quickly to ask the athletes to remove the images from their social media accounts,” said Neil.
“We will be speaking with the athletes involved further about this matter, and reminding them about their responsibilities as representatives of the Australian Swim Team.”
“This is also a timely reminder to all members of the Australian Swim Team that it is an honour to swim for your country and with it comes clear responsibilities in and out of the pool.”
Swimming Australia still has an internal process to follow in relation to the matter, and the next step in that process will be a meeting with the athletes involved on Monday.
Swimming Australia will be making no further comment on the matter until its own internal processes are complete.
End of statement
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