Sydney - Fiery Australian tennis star Nick
Kyrgios on Friday pulled out of the Rio Olympics, blaming "unwarranted
attacks" on him by Australian Olympic chiefs after he was warned to
His decision follows fellow Australian
Bernard Tomic making himself unavailable for Games selection last month after
widespread criticism about his recent on-court attitude and behaviour.
"Unfortunately, while I have expressed
every intention of trying to win a medal for my country in Rio, it's very clear
to me that the Australian Olympic Committee has other plans," the world
number 19 said in a statement.
"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."
His bombshell announcement follows a war of
words with the AOC's chef de mission Kitty Chiller, who had voiced concerns
over selecting Kyrgios and Tomic due to their behaviour.
She acknowledged Kyrgios' decision in a
brief statement on Friday, adding that "in regard to selection every athlete
in contention is treated equally and fairly".
"We have no further comment on this
Volatile 21-year-old Kyrgios is no stranger
to controversy, frequently falling foul of tennis authorities.
Most recently, he received a code violation
at the French Open for shouting at a ball boy and was fined for an audible
obscenity during his thrashing at the hands of Richard Gasquet.
He said playing for Australia at the
Olympics had been a childhood dream and blasted the AOC for not talking to him.
"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," he said.
"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."
In the wake of Chiller's criticism, Tennis
Australia publicly backed Kyrgios, saying he was making a concerted effort to
improve his performance and behaviour.
TA president Steve Healy said Friday that
Kyrgios continued to have the organisation's support.
"We understand Nick's decision and
totally support him and his right to make it," Healy said. "But we
are very disappointed that he has been put in this position.
"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."
Tennis Australia is due to make its Olympic
selections on June 30, based on rankings. With Kyrgios and Tomic out of the
running, John Millman (61) and Jordan Thompson (94) are next in line.