Michael Diamond has won two Olympic and five Commonwealth Games gold medals in his career ©Getty Images

Australian Olympic shooting champion Michael Diamond says he has been left with no alternative but to sell his a haul of gold medals .

The 45-year-old father of three, who is unemployed, aims to put the prized possessions up for auction to pay debts and support his children.

Diamond took part in six Olympic Games and won gold medals for trap in Atlanta in 1996 and in Sydney in 2000, only the second man ever to win two such successive medals.

He also won five Commonwealth gold medals and now aims to pick up his career having been recently acquitted of three firearms and drink-driving charges.

Those charges led to his being disqualified from Rio 2016 which would have been his seventh straight Olympics.

The 18-month legal battle left him AUD$200,000 (£117,000/$153,000/€132,000) in debt, according to The Sunday Telegraph.

"I couldn't earn a living," he said.

"I approached a lot of people for work but it fell on deaf ears.

"That's why I'm so desperate now."

He claims he needs money to pay his rent and his daughters' school fees.

"It's not just ruined me financially but my reputation too," he said, adding that all that mattered to him was his children's welfare.

Diamond was banned from holding a gun licence for 10 years after being found guilty of firearms and drink-driving offences in May.

It followed an arrest last year, in the New South Wales town of Port Stephens, for possession of a firearm and suspicion of drink-driving.

He allegedly provided a blood-alcohol reading more than three times over the legal limit after being detained for possessing a shotgun and 150 rounds of ammunition in his car.

This followed reports of a domestic dispute with his brother, who took out an apprehended violence order against him.

He avoided jail and was issued with a good behaviour bond for 12 months, but banned from owning or using firearms for 10 years.

Michael Diamond has had to put his Olympic medals up for auction to pay for the legal costs required to clear his name ©Getty Images
Michael Diamond has had to put his Olympic medals up for auction to pay for the legal costs required to clear his name ©Getty Images

According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the judge ruling on the case determined that police were not entitled to search Diamond’s car.

It was claimed the police had not demanded an on-the-spot search, meaning they had no authority to do so.

Diamond has reportedly expressed his intention to return to elite level competition, with the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo a target.

He would need to apply to have his firearms licence returned to resume his shooting career.

"Shooting Australia has today become aware that Olympic shooting gold medallist Michael Diamond has been successful in an appeal against his May firearms convictions," a Shooting Australia statement said last month.

"Michael has been a great servant of Australian sport in the past and if he chooses to re-engage in top-level competition he is entitled to do so, and will have to apply to registry to have his firearms licence returned.

"Shooting Australia’s focus remains the development of top-level athletes for now and the future; the sport delivers a performance-based programme and should Michael return to competition his selection to teams and squads – including those of the 2018 Commonwealth Games – will be based on his performance.

"We have remained in contact with Michael and his support team during this process and whatever Michael decides to do we wish him well."