SYDNEY, April 18 (Reuters) - Australian swimmer Nick D'Arcy has been dropped from the team for the Beijing Olympics, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) said on Friday.
D'Arcy's place in the squad had been under scrutiny after he was charged by police on March 31 following an incident in a Sydney nightclub in which he was accused of punching former Commonwealth swimming champion Simon Cowley.
AOC president John Coates said D'Arcy's selection had been overturned after an internal investigation and he would not compete at the Aug. 8-24 Games.
"This is a difficult decision to make but the question is whether his conduct was likely to bring himself, the sport of swimming, the team and the AOC into disrepute and censure," Coates said in a televised statement.
"It is clear that being charged with criminal offences of such a serious nature is sufficient to bring Nicholas and the sport of swimming into disrepute and is likely to bring the team and the AOC into disrepute if he continues to be a member of the team.
"I have decided that Nicholas's membership of the 2008 Olympic team must be terminated and I have conveyed my decision to him this morning."
D'Arcy is due to appear in court on Monday and Coates said he would not comment further because of the legal proceedings.
D'Arcy's coach said he thought the 20-year-old would probably end his swimming career because of the decision.
"I doubt that he will swim again, this will be the end of his swimming career," coach Brian Stehr told reporters outside the D'Arcy family home on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
"It's basically... a life sentence if you consider that perhaps your one opportunity to swim in the Olympics has been taken away from you."
Stehr added he thought the decision was harsh.
"I think it amounts to a penalty that basically affects him for the rest of his life and that's not fair," Stehr said.
"It doesn't give him an opportunity to move forward from this and show his true character."
Coates said D'Arcy had been given the opportunity to present his case for inclusion in the Beijing team, which he had taken into account.
D'Arcy had the right to appeal against the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
D'Arcy qualified for the Olympics after winning the 200 metres butterfly at the Australian national trials.
A Swimming Australia spokesman told Reuters a replacement would not be named as the other swimmers had not achieved the qualifying standard.
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Melbourne; Editing by John O'Brien)