Diamond charged, Rio spot in jeopardy

Two-time Olympic champion Michael Diamond has been granted bail after being charged with drink-driving and firearms offences.
Two-time Olympic champion Michael Diamond has been granted bail after being charged with drink-driving and firearms offences.

SYDNEY • Australia's dual Olympic shooting champion Michael Diamond has been charged with drink-driving and firearms offences, the Australian Olympic Committee said yesterday.

Diamond, a trap shooting gold medallist at the Atlanta and Sydney Olympics, was arrested after an alleged domestic incident with a relative at Nelson Bay, north of Sydney, on Saturday.

New South Wales police said they had charged a 44-year-old man with "high range drink driving, not keeping (a) firearm safe and handling or using (a) firearm while under the influence of alcohol".

His driver's and firearms licences have been suspended and he has been granted bail to appear in court on June 7, police said in a statement, adding that he had been involved in a domestic argument with a relative before his arrest.

Police said a shotgun and 150 rounds of ammunition were found in his car and that a breath analysis later showed he was three times over the legal blood-alcohol limit.

The man was widely identified as Diamond, including by the Sydney Daily Telegraph on its front page.

"I've been told not to say anything," the shooter told the newspaper.

Diamond hopes to become only the second Australian to compete in seven Summer Games, matching equestrian veteran Andrew Hoy.

The AOC has yet to announce the country's two entries in the men's trap team, and said Diamond's selection hopes were up to the discretion of Shooting Australia.

"Any of the athletes nominated by their national federation must be in good standing with that federation, and must not have brought themselves or their sport or the Olympic movement into disrepute," AOC chef de mission Kitty Chiller told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"(It's) totally in Shooting Australia's court. They need to make that decision before nominating their team to us."

Shooting Australia said it was not yet in a position to make a statement, but that it was "working closely with Michael to support him and to ensure that his welfare is protected".

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 24, 2016, with the headline 'Diamond charged, Rio spot in jeopardy'. Print Edition | Subscribe