Swimming Australia boss John Bertrand is shocked by Grant Hackett's behaviour on a flight from Adelaide to Melbourne on Sunday.
The three-time Olympic gold medallist was involved an altercation with a fellow passenger while returning from Australian trials in South Australia.
"It's a shock to everyone, including myself, obviously what happened," he told the Seven Network. "It was a bummer, terrible."
Hackett's attempted return to the Australian Olympic team came to an abrupt end when he was knocked out in the semi-finals of the 200-metre freestyle.
His influence around the team led to head coach Jacco Verhaeren declaring he would be a mentor for the squad in Rio, and Bertrand said the former star's behaviour in Adelaide justified the original selection.
"What we saw and what I saw his involvement with the team was just fantastic," Bertrand said.
"His influence, he could walk on the pool deck, not only in Australia, but anywhere around the world and he has been there and done it."
The Swimming Australia president also knocked back suggestions Hackett's return was a PR stunt aimed at satisfying sponsors, and that he had been missing training sessions and partying in the lead-up to the trials.
"He gave it a shot to be part of the swim team," Bertrand said.
"That was it. For the pure reasons.
"He was enjoying and loving the getting back with some mates and some friends from swimming."
Hackett offered an unreserved apology on Monday and admitted he "stuffed up" again.