Gun-Posing Aussie Swimmers To Be Sent Home From Games After Competing
Australian swimmers Nick D'Arcy and Kenrick Monk will be sent home from the London Olympics immediately following the final day of the swimming events "as punishment for posting inappropriate images on social network sites this week," according to Dominic Bossi of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The Australian Olympic Committee has decided to send the duo back to Australia at the conclusion of their commitments in London "as a result of images posted of the two swimmers brandishing guns while competing in California a fortnight ago." D'Arcy and Monk have also been "banned from blogging and using any social media sites throughout the games, including Twitter and Facebook" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 6/10). Meanwhile, the AAP reported that by leaving early, D'Arcy and Monk have "been denied the chance to let their hair down" around fellow athletes at the Olympic Village. Australia's Team de Mission Nick Green sent a letter to both athletes explaining the decision. It read: "Given this incident and our previous discussions concerning your conduct, I now have concerns regarding your lack of judgment." Green said that the decision to allow them to compete "had nothing to do with the possibility of the pair winning medals in the pool." Green said, "This has nothing to do with medals; it is all about upholding Team values, in particular the high standards of behaviour set out by those Olympians who came before you." The duo "quickly apologised for the photos," which appeared on Facebook and Twitter before being pulled down by Swimming Australia. The 24-year-olds will meet with Swimming Australia officials next week (AAP, 6/09).
CLAIMS OF HYPOCRISY: In Melbourne, Wes Hosking reported that swimmer Eamon Sullivan "has accused Australian team officials of hypocrisy" over the gun-toting controversy because "athletes attended a shooting event in the name of team building." Sullivan "jumped to the defence" of his teammates. He told Channel 9, "They haven't really done anything wrong. Shooting is an Olympic sport -- shooters don't get in trouble for posing in their Speedos." It came as the AOC was "accused of double standards" for allowing Olympic shooter Lauryn Mark to strip down for Zoo Weekly magazine. The AOC said that it would "not stop Mark's photo shoot" (HERALD SUN, 6/11). Sullivan said that Swimming Australia took the team to a Canberra rifle range "as part of a bonding session" in '07. Sullivan argued that shooting is an Olympic sport and "shooters don't get into trouble posing in their Speedos." Also in Melbourne, David Murray reported Swimming Australia was "due to make its own judgment" after a Monday meeting (HERALD SUN, 6/11). In Sydney, Samantha Lane noted that "an embarrassing double standard has been exposed" as Swimming Australia now faces "pressure from dissenting London-bound athletes." Australian Swimmers' Association President Brenton Rickard said, "I think ultimately they look a little silly and stupid posing like tough guys in photos, but at the same time, to me, they've just participated in a legitimate pastime and unfortunately they've been portrayed in this harsh light" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 6/11). Meanwhile, Craig Christopher wrote that D'Arcy and Monk have been portrayed as "not only reactionary but mean-spirited." Also, it seems that the AOC is "not above partaking in a healthy dose of hypocrisy." Swimming Australia "took the swimming team to a gun range as part of a team-bonding exercise" prior to the 2008 Beijing Games. Apparently, "firing guns is okay, but being photographed with them is a heinous crime." The AOC "seems to be lacking the Olympic spirit and due regard for fair play" (BLEACHER REPORT.com, 6/10).