Swimming Australia has denied reports of a secret deal to allow Nick D'Arcy, the butterfly swimmer found guilty of assault after he smashed Simon Cowley's face to bits back in 2008 and was dropped from the Beijing Olympic team as a result, a berth on the London 2012 squad.
Swimming Australia (SA) president David Urquhart told reporters in Sydney: "There was no deal done with anyone about anything as far as I was concerned. Any deals that were to be done have to come to the board of Swimming Australia, and that never happened."
Last year a judge in a civil case ordered D'Arcy to pay Cowley Aus$370,000 in damages and costs. However, D'Arcy declared himself bankrupt and therefore unable to pay up. That position and the assault in particular run contrary to the rules of the IOC that govern competitor behaviour and ethics.
Australian Olympic Committee boss John Coates told reporters that the Australian Olympic Committee took legal advice on D'Arcy's bankruptcy: it did not constitute bringing him into disrepute under the terms of the team agreement.
Cowley had alleged that the swimming body had done a "secret deal" allowing D'Arcy back into the team.
Cowley said SA chief executive Kevin Neil had told him of the deal in 2009, saying: "I'm telling you this but if you ever repeat it - ever try to tell anyone - I'll flat out deny it."
Urquhart told reporters: "Kevin can't remember saying any of the things that were said [in the newspaper reports on Cowley's allegation]."