The picture that started it all.
The picture that started it all. Facebook

D'Arcy gun pic 'storm in teacup'

NICK D'Arcy's former coach Brian Stehr says the controversy about the swimming star's gun-toting photograph is a "storm in a teacup".

Speaking from his Peregian home, Stehr said it was "unfortunate" the gold medal hope had to deal with such a controversy "so close to the Olympics".

He was reasonably confident the person he coached for 17 years would be able "rise to the occasion".

"Nick should be able to put it in perspective and get on with the job," he said.

Stehr said most people he had spoken to believed the photograph of D'Arcy and fellow swimmer Kenrick Monk holding guns in America was a "storm in a teacup".

"It is normal behaviour for young blokes," he said.

"It's unfortunate, the reaction to it was undesirable and unnecessary.

"Swimming Australia has to be seen to be firm and strong about the behaviour of the team. This justifies their action."

But he did believe forcing the players to return home after their swimming events was an "overreaction".

"They are absolutely paranoid about public perception and whether they are doing enough to make sure (swimmers) are doing the right thing.

"I can understand this, given the history.

"But every day young blokes are doing that stuff. If it had been anybody else but them, it might not have been picked up."

Stehr had coached D'Arcy since 1995.

He was by the young swimmer's side through his stunning rise to success that led to his selection for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

D'Arcy was then dropped from the Beijing Olympic team and the 2009 World Championships after a well-publicised physical confrontation with former swimmer Simon Cowley.

He appeared to be back on track under Stehr's instruction, finishing ninth at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in the 200m butterfly and then winning silver at the Pan Pacs in Irvine.

D'Arcy parted ways with Stehr in October last year after landing a job in Brisbane.

He chose to train with Michael Bohl's St Peter's Western squad in Brisbane.

Bohl also coaches Kenrick Monk.

Both Monk and D'Arcy made a brief statement yesterday concerning the Australian Olympic Committee's decision to send the players home after their swimming events and to ban them from using social media during the Olympics.

While Monk answered questions and explained they were "just having a bit of fun", D'Arcy was fairly tight-lipped.

He said he would not be engaging in social media in the lead-up to the Olympics and it would be his last "media engagement".

"It's really important in the last seven weeks that I remain focused," he said.

D'Arcy's mum Sue also told the Daily they would not comment until "after the Olympics".



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