Nick Kyrgios lifts lid on ‘disgraceful’ treatment as he makes his Olympics position clear
Nick Kyrgios has divulged that he will not make himself available to represent Australia at the 2024 Paris Olympics after his row with the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) over the 2016 Games.
The 28-year-old has claimed he was banned from competing in Rio for “behavioural reasons” and described the way he was treated by the AOC as a “disgrace”
In a statement posted on his website in 2016, Kyrgios explained his decision to withdraw from the Rio Olympics: “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 organisation’s inability to understand the circumstances surrounding highly competitive sports.”
Former AOC chef de mission Kitty Chiller had said Kyrgios and his fellow Australian Bernard Tomic, who also withdrew from the Rio Games, were “on watch” due to their behaviour.
In a column for the Sydney Morning Herald, Kyrgios outlined why he will not be competing at this year’s Olympics and suggested he had lost his appetite to represent Australia.
“One thing I will guarantee, though, is that if I am fit and ready to play, I won’t be making myself available for the Olympics,” the Australian said.
“The way I was treated by the Australian Olympic Committee and former chef de mission Kitty Chiller will never be forgotten. To ban me from playing at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games was a disgrace.
“I was No 13 at the time and had a genuine chance at winning a medal. For them to forbid me from representing my country for behavioural reasons is something that I just can’t forget.
“I won’t be putting my hand up to play in Paris this year. Eight years ago, I was desperate to represent Australia at an Olympic Games, but my mentality has changed.
“I wanted to play for my country, I can’t say that I still have that desire. And let’s be honest, I haven’t exactly felt like Australia has wanted me to represent it either. I’ve said before, I often feel more at home away from home.”
Kyrgios is working as a commentator at the Australian Open for Eurosport and ESPN. The 2022 Wimbledon runner-up is not competing at the Melbourne Grand Slam as he continues his recovery from injury and is yet to confirm when he will return.
Following an excellent 2022 season, Kyrgios was sidelined through injury last year and played his only competitive match of the campaign in Stuttgart in June.
The former world No 13 underwent knee surgery in January 2023 and has since suffered further setbacks, including a wrist injury that derailed his intended comeback during the grass-court season.
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