Libby Trickett at Sporting Shooter Pistol Club in Canberra in September 2007. Photo: Andrew Taylor
Under-siege swimmer Kenrick Monk has defended his controversial photo with Nick D’Arcy as ‘‘just a bit of fun’’ after the pair met with Swimming Australia officials in Brisbane today.
The Australian Olympic Committee will allow the duo to swim at the London Olympic Games, but they will be sent home straight after they’ve finished competing.
Monk said he would ‘‘just have to live’’ with the Australian Olympic Committee’s decision.
Emily Seebohm, Libby Trickett and Alice Mills at Sporting Shooter Pistol Club in Canberra in September 2007. Photo: Karleen Williams
In a statement, Swimming Australia re-affirmed its support of the Australian Olympic Committee’s decision.
When asked whether the door was open for the punishment to be overturned Monk replied, ‘‘Yes and no’’.
He added that he wouldn’t be using any social media in the lead up to the Olympics after the pair got in trouble for posting a photo of themselves on Twitter and Facebook posing with guns in a California gun shop.
‘‘[Swimming Australia] totally agreed with us that it was a bit of fun, it was just basically putting the photo up on Facebook [that was the problem],’’ Monk said.
‘‘The two weeks the Olympics is on we’ll be using no social media networks, but I’ve said to myself I’ll not be using it at all now leading into London.’’
D’Arcy and Monk removed the photo as soon as the scandal erupted.
They met with Swimming Australia president David Urquhart and chief executive Kevin Neil today.
‘‘They showed poor judgement in posting what we saw as inappropriate photos, in which they appear to be skylarking with guns while in the US last week,’’ Neil said in a statement.
‘‘While what the boys did was not illegal, posting the photos on social networks encourages public debate, and that debate can be seen to have a negative impact on the image of the sport and their own image.’’
Earlier today the Australian Olympic Committee stood by its punishment of the pair after revelations emerged that Swimming Australia had organised team bonding sessions at a Canberra rifle range.
A photo of Libby Trickett firing a vintage pistol at a Swimming Australia camp from 2007 emerged last night, taken when the entire squad was at the Sporting Shooter Pistol Club in Majura.
Despite the photos of Trickett and her teammates with guns, the Australian Olympic Committee released a statement this morning saying the images have ‘‘absolutely no bearing on the decision’’ it made.
Monk also attended the gun club on a bonding session.
‘‘Kenrick Monk and Nick D’Arcy have been sanctioned by the AOC for breaching their Team Agreement as members of the 2012 Australian Olympic Team,’’ the statement said.
‘‘The Canberra gun range visit was an initiative of Swimming Australia.
‘‘It had nothing to do with the AOC. It was 2007, they were not members of any Olympic Team at that time.
‘‘It has absolutely no bearing on the decision taken by the AOC at the weekend.’’