Shooter Diamond charged for firearms offences

Mon May 23, 2016 12:26am EDT
 
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MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Twice Olympic shooting champion Michael Diamond has been arrested for drink driving and charged with firearms offences, the Australian Olympic Committee said on Monday, jeopardizing his chances of competing at a seventh Olympics in Rio.

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

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

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

An AOC spokesman confirmed Diamond had been charged over the offences.

Local media reported that Diamond had refused to take a breathalyzer after being stopped by police late on Saturday near his brother's house in a coastal resort north of Sydney.

Diamond won trap gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, defended his title in his hometown Sydney four years later and hopes to become only the second Australian to compete at a seventh Olympics in Rio, matching equestrian rider Andrew Hoy.

Australia's Olympic team chef de mission Kitty Chiller said Diamond's nomination for Rio was up to the sport's national governing body, Shooting Australia (SA), but added that the AOC could still overrule it.

"If a conviction is proven to have brought that athlete or their sport into disrepute, then yes it would (rule an athlete out)," Chiller told local media.   Continued...

 
Australia's Michael Diamond reacts after his men's trap shooting qualification round at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Royal Artillery Barracks August 6, 2012. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett