Coach rapped over 'commando' camp
An imitation pistol was used to stage mock 'executions'
MELBOURNE, Australia (CNN) -- A leading Australian swimming coach has been forced to apologize to his national federation after running a "commando" style training camp involving mock "executions."
Rohan Taylor's elite Carey Aquatic squad took part in the military-style boot camp as they prepared for next year's Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
But Swim Australia chief executive Glenn Tasker told CNN that the use of such practices was "inappropriate" and he had ordered Taylor to call a halt.
The controversy came to light after pictures were published in Australia's Herald Sun newspaper showing youngsters in military uniforms forced to kneel before pretending to be shot with an imitation pistol.
World 50m butterfly champion Danni Miatke, 18, was one of several leading stars involved in the grueling two-hour session, with some as young as 16 taking part.
A Royal Australian Navy physical trainer supervised the camp which was held on parkland at Bulleen in Melbourne.
"Doing exercises and being tough is something athletes do every day, " Tasker said.
"What we saw in the paper, depicting weapons and shooting, is very inappropriate.
"My view is people who see it would be shocked."
Taylor, a coach on Australia's world championship team, maintained that the session was enjoyed by the swimmers but apologized for the distress caused.
"We were all laughing at the time, but the pictures did not present well," he was quoted in Wednesday's Herald Sun.
'It was a mistake and I would not do it again," he added.
The episode has echoes of the infamous boot-camp that South Africa's rugby union squad were subjected to before the 2003 World Cup and Tasker admitted to CNN that there were unfortunate parallels.
"I can only say that coaches in swimming tend to be extremely insular and would not have made this connection," he said.
Tasker added that Taylor was a highly regarded coach and that the incident would not disqualify him from a role with Australian teams in the future.
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