Nick Kyrgios has given up the chance to fulfil his childhood dream to represent Australia at the Olympic Games deciding to pull out of Rio 2016.
The announcement was made today, Friday 3 June, the 21-year-old claiming that the Australian Olympic Council (AOC) had singled him out and treated him unfairly.
“AOC’s unfair and unjust treatment of me over the last four weeks, as well as the organization’s crystal clear position on whether they want me to be a part of the Australian Olympic team, has solidified my final decision,” said Kyrgios in a statement.
The tennis star took the opportunity to thank Tennis Australia for their support, but unfortunately it was not enough to keep him from opting out.
“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,” said Kyrgios.
“The AOC’s unwarranted attacks on me demonstrate the organization’s inability to understand the circumstances surrounding highly competitive sports.”
He also added that he hopes the AOC’s treatment of him would not become a distraction and negatively affect the Australian Olympic team.
According to a report by SBS, Tennis Australia president Steve Healey expressed his disappointment with Kyrgios’ decision, namely after the player’s improved on-court conduct.
“We understand Nick’s decision and totally support him and his right to make it, but we are very disappointed that he has been put in this position,” said Mr Healey.
“Nick is a passionate competitor and he’s working hard to learn and mature in a highly pressurised environment where he is under constant public scrutiny.”
But Kyrgios is not the only Australian to be giving Rio a miss; Bernard Tomic pulled out less than a month ago based on a hectic schedule.
Based on a series of behavioural issues, last month Kyrgios and Tomic had both been put on notice by Australian Olympic team boss Kitty Chiller.
Responding to Kyrgios’ withdrawal on Friday, Ms Chiller denied that she had targeted Kyrgios or Tomic.
“In regard to selection, every athlete in contention is treated equally and fairly.
“We have no further comment on this issue,” she concluded.