Grant Hackett, going through hard times Down Under, was absent from a celebration of his huge contribution to one of Australia's proudest Olympic traditions, the 1500m and distance freestyle, along with Kieren Perkins.
The 1992 and 1996 Olympic champion was careful in his criticism of Hackett at a time when the 2000 and 2004 champion is going through a marriage break-up and hit the headlines of late when a a children's anti-violence charity dropped him after pictures were published of damage in his Melbourne apartment following an alleged drunken rampage last year.
Perkins was tougher on Nick D'Arcy, the 'fly ace found guilty of violence against former swimmer Simon Cowley in 2008. "I don't care how good an athlete you are; your responsibility to uphold certain standards is greater than most. Being a good athlete never absolves you from being a good human being," Perkins tells the Herald Sun.
He and John Konrads attended a Sport Australia Hall of Fame function in Sydney this week to applaud an Australian distance free tradition that will not be upheld this summer in London.
From Frank Beaurepaire, through Murray Rose, who lost a battle with cancer this year, through to the Perkins and Hackett era, Australia has excellent reason to celebrate.
All the greater the pity that Hackett felt he could not attend the party for fear of risking media interrogation about an incident at his Melbourne home, the fallout of which was photographed by police and handed to the media.
On Hackett and the storm Down Under, Perkins simply said that if the former swimmer's behaviour had indeed been as that indicated by the photos, there was no room for excuse.
The same line for D'Arcy, his Olympic selection and attitude to a reporter he told to be "careful" this week on tour in the US. Perkins, athlete liaison for the Aussie team in London 2012, told reporters: "Nick fails to understand the significance of the position he is in - he needs to take responsibility for the things he has done and mend his relationship with not only the sport but the public at large. No doubt Nick is a great athlete and he'll go to London and swim exceptionally well. I just hope somewhere along that journey he recognises that being a good human being is his responsibility."
His words carry weight, especially in a week in which the England and German football teams heading to the Euro 2012 tournament visited Auschwitz. The England camp also met Holocaust survivor Ziggy Shipper, a Polish jew who spoke eloquently to the BBC Radio 4 Today programme about the impact that leading sportsmen and women can have on social and cultural attitudes and help to fight the darker side of human nature, the prejudice and hatred that is on display now in 2012 on the football terraces in Ukraine, joint Euro 2012 host with Poland.
German and British television pictures this week showed mobs of white football fans making a Nazi salute and assaulting people of a different ethnicity and anyone who tried to stop them as police and ground staff looked on either helpless or unwilling to intervene.
The scenes prompted calls in Europe for football authorities to reconsider granting hosting rights to countries in which such things are tolerated. A British TV reporter attended a Nazi training camp in the Ukraine and filmed youths learning combat skills, including the use of knives as lethal weapons. Some leading players have urged fans to stay home, believing the football terrace to be a dangerous place.
As Perkins, Shipper and others suggest, athletes can have a big influence on how young people think and behave. Some of the comments made by footballers and other in the sport this week would not be allowed to be uttered under the rules of the IOC as they stand, for they certainly stray into the realm of politics in the wider world.
Those who oppose the notion of "sport is sport and should not stray" note that if human rights are being abused, if hatred is taking hold, the voice of athletes is one that ought to be heard above the deafening silence of sports authorities that look the other way if a host also happens to be hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons.