SYDNEY – An athlete who met with Prince Harry and was featured in promotions for the Invictus Games has withdrawn from the event while facing drugs and weapons charges.
Australian army veteran Tyronne Gawthorne revealed he was arrested last month on charges of possessing drugs including cocaine and anabolic steroids and not properly securing a firearm.
Harry started the sporting event for injured and sick war veterans in 2014 and attended Games-related events as part of his ongoing, 16-day royal tour of Australia and the South Pacific with his wife, Meghan.
Gawthorne chatted with Harry during a reception in Sydney last Sunday.
He won a powerlifting silver medal on Tuesday and had been scheduled to compete in discus, shotput and swimming.
The 36-year-old former rifleman who served in Afghanistan and East Timor denied taking drugs that may have affected his performance at the Games but also said he agreed it was not appropriate for him to remain on the team.
“I cannot express how sorry I am for not disclosing to the team that I had been arrested,” he said in a statement.
Gawthorne was arrested in his hometown of Cairns in Australia’s far north and will face court on Dec. 5.