June 30, 2016

SYDNEY (AP) Double shooting gold medalist Michael Diamond has been ruled ineligible to represent Australia at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Diamond was charged by police last month with drink-driving and firearms offences, which he denies, but is not due in court again until July 25 - well after the Australian Olympic Committee's July 4 deadline for selection.

For that reason the 44-year-old Diamond appeared before the AOC's executive committee Thursday to argue his case for selection.

The committee later upheld Shooting Australia's decision not to nominate Diamond for selection in trap shooting.

Shooting Australia chief executive Damien Marangon said ''the incident involving Michael Diamond has, in our view, put our sport in a position which is inappropriate'' and, hence, breaches selection guidelines.

Marangon said a range of factors influenced the decision.

''We sit here with really heavy hearts,'' he said. ''Michael is a champion of our sport, so this decision was clearly not an easy one but it's important to know that all of us - the AOC and Shooting Australia - will continue to support Michael as we have.

''And Shooting Australia in particular will continue to now support Michael through what will be a really difficult period of time.''

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