Sunday is almost over in Australia as I write this and I just read comments Eamon Sullivan made regarding Nick D'Arcy which are just sincerely outrageous.
Back ground info: On March 30th 2008, Nick D'Arcy viciously attack Simon Cowley after one report claimed that Cowley extended his hand out to Nick D'Arcy in a congratulatory gesture over his 200 butterfly win at Australian Nationals. While another says Cowley asked him to tone down his bragging.
In the ensuing seconds Cowley's life was irrevocable changed for the worse. He had lost most of teeth, suffered a broken jaw, a broken nose, a fractured eye socket, a crushed cheekbone and fractured palate in the attack and subsequently had to have five titanium plates screwed into his face to repair the injuries.
Of course large amounts of alcohol were involved; ("Fuelled by up to 12 drinks," was what the Daily Telegraph stated), and several members from the Australian national team were also there drinking with D'Arcy and most likely they all witnessed the beating of Cowley as well. Reports say that several members of the Australian team were questioned.
So, the next day the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) gets wind of this and in the ensuing week or so Chairman John Coates forcefully states that though D'Arcy deserves to be presumed innocent, this deed among others is so grievous that he brought not just himself into disrepute but Australian swimming as well. Therefore, he is effectively kicked off the National team. (Apparently D'Arcy had a history of this nonsense whereas he had broken the nose of an Australian triathlete some time before. The AOC does not have to legally presume innocence. They can send anybody they want to the Olympics.)
When Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge hears about Nick D'Arcy and the AOC decision, he backs the decision 100% and makes it clear he will support them.
Now, with all this in mind this is what Eamon Sullivan had to say regarding the beating of Simon Cowley; From the Herald Sun: [Link] "... He's quite young and already broken the record for the 200m 'fly. Sometimes mistakes happen, but I can't really say too much. ..."
"He's a great swimmer, so it would be a shame for that talent to give up..."
"It's unfortunate with a few things that have come up," he said. "But over the years, compared to some other sports in headlines every week, we spend 90 per cent of our time training, 5 per cent competing and 5 per cent having a break. ..."
Memo to Sullivan, when you get yourself into a hole and your coach says, "stop digging," or more accurately to not talk to the press, you do what he says. You have not only allowed yourself to tacitly dismiss D'Arcy's behavior just because he can swim a fast butterfly, but you have embarrassed your coach and yourself by taking a side in something contrary to the AOC, the IOC and have probably alienated at least half of the Australian public as a result.
D'Arcy could be sentenced for up to 10 years over this. His court day is June 17th.