Nick Kyrgios withdraws from Rio 2016 after row with Australian committee

Neither controversial Australian Number one nor Bernard Tomic will play in Olympics

Australia’s Nick Kyrgios confronts umpire James Keothavong during his third round match against Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych at the Australian Open tennis tournament last January. Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters

Australia’s Nick Kyrgios confronts umpire James Keothavong during his third round match against Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych at the Australian Open tennis tournament last January. Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters

 

Nick Kyrgios has pulled out of attending Rio 2016 after an ongoing row with the Australian Olympic Committee.

The Australian number one follows compatriot Bernard Tomic in withdrawing from the Games after a battle with AOC chef de mission Kitty Chiller, who said the pair were “on watch” because of their behaviour.

Tomic, ranked 22nd in the world, was the first to take the decision into his own hands and released a statement last month announcing he would not be making himself available for Rio.

The 23-year-old has been heavily criticised for his behaviour in losing to Fabio Fognini at the Madrid Open, when he received serve on match point holding his racket by its head.

Kyrgios, who fell to a third-round defeat against Richard Gasquet at the French Open last week, has racked up plenty of indiscretions in his short career, frequently receiving warnings for swearing on court.

His lowest moment came in Canada last summer when he was given a suspended ban and fine for making inappropriate comments about Stan Wawrinka’s girlfriend.

But, despite the backing of Tennis Australia over the latest incident, Kyrgios has also announced his intention not to travel to Brazil this summer.

In a statement posted on his official website he said: “It is with a heavy heart that I have had to make a decision not to compete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“Coming to this decision has been a lengthy and difficult process, and I am extremely disappointed to have been put in this unfortunate position.

“AOC’s unfair and unjust treatment of me over the last four weeks, as well as the organisation’s crystal clear position on whether they want me to be a part of the Australian Olympic team, has solidified my final decision.

“While I have received assurances from Tennis Australia that I will be nominated for the Olympic team, the AOC has chosen to publicly and privately disparage me.

“Not one member of the AOC has reached out to me, my family, my team, or representatives of Tennis Australia, asking for a meeting or the opportunity to discuss their concerns.

“The AOC’s unwarranted attacks on me demonstrate the organization’s inability to understand the circumstances surrounding highly competitive sports.”

Tennis Australia is not due to nominate athletes to the AOC for selection until June 30th, while the International Tennis Federation will inform competing countries of their eligible players on June 9th.

In a statement released on the AOC’s official website, Chiller said: “According to his website, Nick Kyrgios has made himself unavailable for selection on the 2016 Australian Olympic Team.

“At this point, Nick Kyrgios, or any other tennis athlete, has not been nominated for selection on the Australian Olympic Team.

“In regard to selection every athlete in contention is treated equally and fairly.

“We have no further comment on this issue.”

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