Swimmers support tough love, says Nick Green
Olympic team chief Nick Green is adamant Australia’s swimmers support the “tough love” he handed Nick D’Arcy and Kenrick Monk and their punishment has not caused any dissent in the camp.
Even though Olympic silver medallist Eamon Sullivan has accused the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) of hypocrisy for sanctioning the pair and swimming team leader Brenton Rickard says they didn’t do much wrong, Green is confident harmony prevails.
Green and his AOC selection committee ordered D’Arcy and Monk to return home from London immediately after their events as punishment for posting online photos of them posing with high-powered guns at a US rifle range.
They’ve also been banned from using social media during the Games.
Green says other swimmers in the team are not disagreeing with the sanctions.
“I’m of a very clear view they’re very supportive of some tough love within our team,” Green told AAP.
“I don’t feel in any way there’s any issues within the team that it was the wrong decision.”
Sullivan has questioned the difference between an authorised Swimming Australia team trip to a Canberra rifle range in 2007 and D’Arcy’s and Monk’s actions.
Green says the 2007 trip had nothing to do with the Olympics and was in a controlled environment, whereas the D’Arcy and Monk photos were in bad taste and compounded their history of bad judgment.
“I’ve spoken to some swimmers, they agree it was a silly mistake by the two athletes and they didn’t use their better judgment when they put the two photos online,” Green said.
“I get a sense the swimmers feel they couldn’t believe the images came out, particularly because of the history of these athletes (D’Arcy and Monk).
“They know there was a focus on these athletes, whatever they do there was an additional focus.
“They have different views of the penalty, whether it was harsh or not, and that’s fine. I’m happy for the public debate.
“I firmly don’t believe that in any way it’s divided the swimmers.”
D’Arcy and Monk had both been warned about their conduct by Green after being involved in separate controversial incidents.
D’Arcy was kicked out of the 2008 Olympic team for leaving former swimmer Simon Cowley with multiple facial injuries after assaulting him in a bar and then declared himself bankrupt last year to avoid paying $370,000 in court ordered damages.
Monk was lucky to avoid charges last year after telling police he was the victim of a hit and run accident but later confessed he broke his elbow when he fell off his skateboard.
Green says the AOC had to minimise the risk of D’Arcy and Monk making more bad decisions while in London and distracting the other 400-odd athletes in the Australian Olympic team.© AAP 2013
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