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AUS Gunslingers Shoot Themselves In Foot

Jun 7, 2012  - Craig Lord

It is as if two of Australia's Olympic swimmers just haven't got it in them to learn lessons about living life in the glare of publicity as a world-class athlete.

Nick D'Arcy (convicted on a violence charge after beating Simon Cowley's face to a pulp) and Kenrick Monk (who fibbed about a hit and run driver that turned out to be his own skateboard when he injured himself and got into hot water with the police) are up to their necks in it again.

The "two bad boys of Australian swimming", as the media Down Under describe them today, posted Facebook and Twitter photos online showing themselves posing with firearms in a gun shop in the United States. They look like outlaws wearing guns and grins. 

A bit of fun intended. Inappropriate, say those who hand out the team contracts and codes and will be having a word with the errant pair when they get home from overseas tour.

A statement from the federation today noted: "Swimming Australia became aware of inappropriate photos posted on athlete Facebook pages and Twitter accounts this morning, and instantly contacted the athletes involved to ask for them to be removed under Swimming Australia’s Social Media Guidelines.

"The athletes have subsequently removed the photos.

"Swimming Australia in no way condones these photos, and does not condone the posting of inappropriate content on Facebook, Twitter or any social media platform.

"This is a timely reminder for athletes to more be responsible to themselves, the public with whom they engage through social media, and the reputation of the sport.

"The athletes involved are currently returning from a training camp and competition in the US, and will be spoken to further upon their return."

The swimmers are in tour in the US and posed for the photos in California. One of the Aussie entourage could have told them about the dangers of online postings: double Olympic medley champ Stephanie Rice lost a Jaguar contract and more besides when she invited a Springboks rugby team defeated by Australia to "suck on that faggots". She subsequently apologised and has not been in trouble since.

Her advise might have been valuable for D'Arcy and Monk, though they hardly needed Rice to remind them of the impact their deeds can have. D'Arcy was convicted of assaulting former swimmer Simon Cowley in 2008 and was dropped from the Australian team for Beijing in 2008 and banned from world titles in 2009. He was ordered to pay Cowley a large sum in compensation but declared himself bankrupt and those relieved himself of the obligation to pay up.

Monk claimed he broke his elbow after being hit by a car in a hit-and-run incident before admitting that he actually fell off his skateboard but was too worried about what his coach and others would say at a time when his focus was full on for making London 2012.

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