In sanctioning Nick D'Arcy and Kendrick Monk, the Australian Olympic Committee have been revealed as not only reactionary but mean-spirited. Better still, it seems that the AOC is not above partaking in a healthy dose of hypocrisy.
The AOC have handed out punishment to the dopey swimmers in the form of being sent home immediately after they have completed their competition, denying them the opportunity of engaging in the party atmosphere of the Olympic village and the closing ceremony (as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald).
The reason? Because Monk posted a photo of himself and D'Arcy holding unloaded guns in the safe confines of a U.S. gun shop.
That's right, holding the weapons, not using them to shoot puppies or something equally disgraceful. They weren't even holding them in a threatening manner.
Still, guns are bad and holding them is even worse.
The problem is that Swimming Australia, in the lead-up to the 2008 Beijing Games, took the swimming team to a gun range as part of a team-bonding exercise.
Apparently, firing guns is okay, but being photographed with them is a heinous crime.
More to the point, shooting is an Olympic sport. And while the guns in question weren’t competition weapons, the principle is still the same. Finding yourself standing on the wrong end when they go bang can have nasty consequences.
Aussie swimming superstar Eamon Sullivan put it into perspective. He's quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald as saying; "They haven't really done anything wrong. Shooting is an Olympic sport and shooters don't get into trouble for posing in their speedos."
But then, when did hypocrisy ever make sense?
That being said, if some of the Olympic shooters did pose in their speedos, they would probably deserve punishment.
This whole hard-line stance smacks of a chance to again punish these two admittedly dopey young men for previous transgressions that were more deserving of sanction.
To recap, Nick D’Arcy was dropped from the 2008 Australian Olympic team for breaking the jaw of fellow squad member Simon Cowley in a drunken incident and then declaring himself bankrupt rather than paying the A$370k compensation to Cowley (as reported in The Daily Telegraph).
Monk made a false police report when he fell off his skateboard and broke his elbow in 2011. He blamed youths for running him off the road when it was his own stupidity to blame (as reported in The Daily Telegraph).
So, they’re dumb and they have a history of being even dumber, but this time they’re being victimized without just cause.
The AOC seems to be lacking the Olympic spirit and due regard for fair play.
At least it's been exposed, not that it will change their decision.