D'Arcy fails in CAS appeal to swim for Australia in Beijing

SYDNEY, Australia -- Australian swimmer Nick D'Arcy has lost his appeal against his ejection from the Australian team for the Beijing Olympics.

The 20-year-old D'Arcy was dropped from the squad by Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates on April 18 for bringing the sport, and the team, into disrepute for his part in a bar fight with Commonwealth Games gold medalist Simon Cowley on March 30.

A three-member Court of Arbitration for Sport panel released its ruling Wednesday, finding that D'Arcy had not observed "the provisions of the AOC Ethical Behavior ByLaw" but that Coates alone should not have enforced the exclusion.

Henric Nicholas, president of the CAS panel, found that D'Arcy "did not meet the conditions of Clause 2(8) of the Membership Agreement between himself and the Australian Olympic Committee."

CAS referred the matter back to the 15-member Australian Olympic Committee board, which is likely to uphold Coates' decision to exclude D'Arcy from the Beijing team.

"Membership of the [Australian] team is a privilege and the standards expected of our athletes is extremely high because of the public reputation which has been established and maintained over many years," Coates said in a statement. "I will ensure that the AOC moves now as quickly as possible to deal with the question of termination of Nick D'Arcy's membership to the team."

D'Arcy still faces a criminal charge of recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm on Cowley and is due in court on June 17.

The charge stems from an altercation between D'Arcy and Cowley at a Sydney bar just hours after D'Arcy was announced as part of Australia's swimming team for the Aug. 8-24 Beijing Games.

D'Arcy won the 200-meter butterfly event at the Australian swim trials.

Cowley sustained a broken jaw, broken nose, fractured eye socket, crushed cheekbone and fractured palate in the fight.