Australia judoka heads home early

Aug. 15, 2008, 9:04 a.m. (ET)

BEIJING (AP) An Australia judo competitor who lost in the under-100 kilogram class in Beijing has been discharged by the Australian Olympic Committee after withholding information about an outstanding assault charge.

Half heavyweight Matt Celotti was under investigation Friday by the AOC after an Australian radio station reported that he is due to face a Melbourne court on Sept. 12 over a charge of intentionally causing injury during an incident at a pub last year.

Late Friday, the AOC issued a statement saying that while investigating the case, Celotti had made an application "for early discharge" from the Australian team.

"The chef de mission, John Coates, has granted the application, which brings Matt's membership of the team to an end," the statement said.

The AOC has taken a tough approach on its athletes in the lead up to the Olympics, with swimmer Nick D'Arcy and cyclist Chris Jongewaard both denied a berth in Beijing because of outstanding court cases.

D'Arcy was withdrawn from the Australian swim team after his alleged assault on Commonwealth Games medallist Simon Cowley just hours after the squad was announced in February.

Last month, Jongewaard lost an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport over the AOC's refusal to nominate him for the cycling squad. He has been charged with various driving offenses over an accident near Adelaide which left cyclist Matthew Rex with severe head injuries.

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