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UK teen arrested after Olympic diver Tom Daley receives Twitter death threat

Toby Melville / Reuters

Britain's Tom Daley prepares to take part in the Olympic men's synchronised 10-meter platform final on Tuesday.

LONDON -- A British teenager was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of making "malicious" remarks, after a death threat to U.K. Olympic medal hopeful Tom Daley appeared on Twitter. 

The profanity-strewn tweets -- on an account NBC News has chosen not to identify -- also included the claim that the athlete had let down his dead father after Daley came fourth in the men's synchronized 10-meter dive.

Daley rose to fame in the U.K. when he competed at the 2008 Beijing Games at the age of 14.

Shortly after Monday's final, a message appeared on the Twitter account saying, “@TomDaley1994 you let your dad down i hope you know that.” 

The account was available to only confirmed followers Tuesday, but retweets of some of the messages showed the abuse continued with one talking about drowning Daley in a swimming pool.

The messages are part of an increasing trend in which celebrities and others are abused by so-called "trolls," who send abusive messages behind the seeming anonymity of social media sites.

Daley retweeted the message about his father and said “After giving it my all...you get idiot's sending me this.”

He then retweeted a number of messages from people calling for the Twitter account involved to be banned.

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Daley still has a chance of a medal in the individual diving event.

Daley’s father Rob, 40, died from brain cancer in May 2011.

'Dad was so supportive'
Before the Olympics, Daley spoke to BBC News about how his father "gave me all the inspiration that I've needed.”

“Winning a medal would make all the struggles that I've had worthwhile. It's been my dream since a very young age to compete at an Olympics,” Daley said.

Matt Cardy / Getty Images, file

Tom Daley (second from right) follows the coffin carrying his father as it leaves St. Mary's Church Plympton, England, on June 8, 2011.

“I'm doing it for myself and my dad. It was both our dreams from a very young age. I always wanted to do it and Dad was so supportive of everything. It would make it extra special to do it for him,” he added.

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As news of the offensive tweet began to spread, a message directed at Daley appeared on the Twitter account saying “I'm sorry mate i just wanted you to win cause its the olympics I'm just annoyed we didn't win I'm sorry tom accept my apology.”

“Please i don't want to be hated I'm just sorry you didn't win i was rooting for you pal to do britain all proud just so upset,” it added.


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The brief description of the Twitter account holder, who has nearly 50,000 followers, apparently quotes another tweeter as saying he was “gorgeous and the sweetest boy ever."

Dorset Police said in a message on its Twitter account that a “17-year-old man arrested this morning at a guest house in the Weymouth area” in relation to “tweets to @TomDaley1994,” adding that the investigation was ongoing.

A spokeswoman for Dorset Police told NBCNews.com that the teen was held on suspicion of making "malicious communications."

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