Diving: Tom Daley will not take Twitter 'holiday' during London 2012 Olympics


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The Independent Online

Tom Daley will continue to use Twitter during the London Olympics despite being advised to take a 'holiday' from the social networking site.

Daley has received a series of malicious tweets since he and team-mate Pete Waterfield failed to medal in the 10-metre platform synchro three days ago.

A 17-year-old youth was arrested and issued with an harassment order on Tuesday after making disparaging comments regarding Daley's father, who died last year, while a Welsh Premier League footballer has also been suspended after allegedly sending an abusive message.

On the eve of the Olympics, British Swimming advised all of its athletes to take a 'Twitter holiday' during the Games in a bid to avoid the type of controversy that is now following Daley.

The governing body has, however, refused to set down a blanket ban because of the positive effects they, and the British Olympic Association, believe it can have on athletes as they interact with fans during a home Olympics.

But following the messages sent to Daley there are growing fears the 18-year-old could be adversely affected ahead of his return to competition in the individual platform on August 10.

BOA chef de mission Andy Hunt voiced his concerns over the issue earlier this week - when he revealed Daley had received 50,000 messages during the day of the Opening Ceremony - and called for the teen's camp to discuss the matter with him.

Since then it is understood it has been decided that Daley will continue to use Twitter.

The Plymouth diver last night escaped the pressures of the Olympic Village, under the already-planned instruction of performance director Alexei Evangulov, for a six-day training camp in Southend.

Evangulov has sought to remove Daley from outside influence to concentrate on his anticipated showdown with Qiu Bo - the man who snatched away his platform world title last year.

An Olympic medal is the only major honour Daley is yet to win during his young career and after narrowly missing out on the podium on Monday, he retweeted a message from a user which said: "You let your dad down i hope you know that."

Daley responded by tweeting: "After giving it my all... you get idiots sending me this..."

Daley was at the bedside of his father Robert when died aged 40 last May following a long battle with brain cancer.

Robert Daley had been an ever-present at poolside during Daley's carer and had pledged to fight his illness long enough to see his son compete in London.

An apparent apology to Daley followed from Rileyy-69 but it has been alleged he later posted an expletive-laden rant including a threat to "drown" Daley.

Yesterday, Port Talbot Town FC has confirmed its midfielder Daniel Thomas was the subject of an internal investigation into a tweet sent to Daley.

According to reports, a homophobic message was sent to Daley's Twitter page from the 10DanThomas10 account, which has since been deleted.

Port Talbot FC officials stressed their player had been the victim of a "misguided prank" after leaving his phone unattended - but confirmed 28-year-old Thomas had been suspended while they looked into the matter.

The club said it and Thomas apologised "unreservedly" and in no way condoned the views expressed in the tweet.