SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia's most decorated Olympic shooter Michael Diamond has serious personal problems and needs help from the sport, fellow gold medallist Russell Mark said Tuesday.
Diamond, who was aiming for his seventh Olympics at Rio this year, has been charged with drink-driving and firearms offences after an alleged domestic incident with a relative north of Sydney on Saturday.
He was bailed to appear in court next month, with his firearms and driving licences suspended, seriously denting his prospects of making the team for Brazil where he reportedly hoped to be Australia's flag-carrier.
Mark, who won trap shooting gold with Diamond in 1996 at Atlanta, said his heavy drinking was well-known within the team.
"Shooting Australia needs to suspend him or help him, but they can't ignore him," Mark told News Corp Australia. "Forget about the Olympic medals. He's one of the greatest shots I've ever seen but he needs help. Everyone in the team talks about his drinking."
He added that he spoke to Shooting Australia about his concerns weeks ago.
"It was only a matter of time before something like this happened," he said.
Shooting Australia said on Monday it was not 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".
The Australian Olympic Committee is yet to announce its two entries in the men's trap team for Rio but chef de mission Kitty Chiller said a conviction could trigger its disrepute clause and rule him out.
Diamond, who also won gold in trap shooting at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, finished just outside the medals in fourth at London in 2012. He is also a five-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist.