NEWS
09/30/2011 09:38 EDT | Updated 11/30/2011 05:12 EST

Swimmer changes story: skateboard accident, not hit-and-run, caused broken elbow

BRISBANE, Australia - Swimmer Kenrick Monk's fractured elbow will probably heal in time for him to compete at the Australian Olympic trials next March.

His reputation is another matter.

Monk admitted Saturday that he lied to police when he said his injury was caused by a hit-and-run accident while cycle training. In fact he fell off a skateboard.

The Australian Olympic Committee's strict policy on misdeeds by team members means the 23-year-old Monk may face a difficult road to London next July.

Michael Bohl, who coaches Monk and triple Beijing Olympic gold medallist Stephanie Rice, told The Associated Press on Saturday that he was "disappointed" in Monk, but that he felt it stemmed from the pressures of training less than a year out from the Olympics.

"It is a matter for the AOC to see what happens down the road, and Kenrick will also have to appear before a Swimming Australia disciplinary committee," Bohl said.

"He felt very embarrassed to say that he fell of a skateboard, which is something he felt only young kids could do," Bohl added. "But it's one thing to tell your friends and family and another thing to broadcast it to the Australian public."

Bohl sat next to Monk at a news conference on Saturday.

"I was embarrassed. I didn't know what to do ... I panicked, I freaked," Monk told local media.

"But I know myself I shouldn't have been on it and so I rang the police and I changed my statement this morning. Basically it just kept snowballing and snowballing and more and more and more came out and it just got too much for me."

In 2008, the AOC excluded swimmer Nick D'Arcy and cyclist Chris Jongewaard from the Beijing Olympic team because they faced criminal charges. Judo competitor Matt Celotti resigned during the Games after it was revealed that he had also been charged with assault.

The AOC told the AP on Saturday that it would await a report from Swimming Australia before commenting further.

"He is their athlete, and we will see what their investigation brings out," said AOC spokesman Mike Tancred. "They have it under control."

D'Arcy, who later was found guilty of assaulting a former swimmer in a bar, was reported to have been one of the Australian swimmers — Rice was another — who visited Monk in the hospital following the Wednesday incident.

All three swimmers train at the St. Peters Western Lutheran College pool in Brisbane under Bohl.

On Saturday, Swimming Australia said in a statement that Monk "actually broke his elbow in two places falling off a skateboard with no other vehicle involved."

"The entire matter is regrettable and we will be making no further comment until the full details of the incident are known," added Swimming Australia chief executive Kevin Neil.

Monk, who faces a recovery time of six to eight weeks, initially told police that a driver deliberately struck him.

"I remember the guys in the car yelling 'oi' and laughing. I turned and I got whacked on the side — that was it," Monk was reported as saying after the incident. "I thought it was a scare tactic but it went too far. They were young and dumb, trying to impress their mates."

Monk won a gold medal at the New Delhi Commonwealth Games last year as part of the Australian 4x200-meter freestyle relay team. At the Beijing Olympics in 2008, he was eliminated in the 200 freestyle heats and was later dropped from the relay team.

In late 2008, Monk moved from his hometown of Sydney to Brisbane to train with Bohl at St. Peter's.