Controversial Aussie swimmers Nick D’Arcy and Kenrick Monk have been banned from using social media and will be home early from the London Olympics as punishment for uploading pictures of themselves toting guns on Twitter and Facebook.
The duo, who already have a bit of a disciplinary record in their wake, posed for the pictures at a gun shop in the U.S. where members of the Australian Olympic swim team had been training and competing in the lead-in to the 2012 London Olympic Games.
The 24-year-old swimmers apologized after being chided by anti-gun groups in Australia and removed the pics from their accounts after being pressured to do so by Swimming Australia.
“The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has decided Nick D’Arcy and Kenrick Monk will be sent home to Australia at the conclusion of their swimming events at the 2012 London Olympic Games,” the AOC said in a statement over the weekend.
“The AOC Selection Committee met today and also decided that D’Arcy and Monk will be banned from using social media, including Twitter, Facebook and blogging, for the Games’ period of July 16 to August 15, 2012.”
In a letter to the swimming duo, Australian chef de mission Nick Green said he had concerns regarding the swimmers’ “lack of judgment.”
“Australian Olympians are required to meet very high standards of conduct and we cannot risk the reputation of the team,” he said in an excerpt carried by the AOC statement.
D’Arcy was previously booted off the 2008 Australian Olympic team after punching former swimmer Simon Cowley at a bar, resulting in severe facial injuries.
A court ordered D’Arcy to pay Cowley damages, but avoided payment by declaring bankruptcy.
Last year, Monk told authorities he had been the victim of a hit-and-run accident, only to later admit that he had suffered his injuries when he fell off his skateboard.
The AOC said their punishment was separate to a disciplinary process being initiated by Swimming Australia (SA).
SA said they supported the AOC’s decision, adding that they had yet to finish their own internal process.
“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,” SA said in a statement.
- D’Arcy and Monk fire up (theage.com.au)
- D’Arcy, Monk will have Olympics trip cut short (espn.go.com)
- Swimmers D’Arcy and Monk in guns photos (news.theage.com.au)