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Nick Kyrgios won’t go to Rio, cites verbal attacks by Australia Olympic officials

Nick Kyrgios

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 27: Nick Kyrgios of Australia hits a forehand during the Men’s Singles third round match against Richard Gasquet of France on day six of the 2016 French Open at Roland Garros on May 27, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

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Australian Nick Kyrgios is the sixth men’s tennis player ranked in the world top 23 to say he will not compete in the Rio Olympics, citing issues with the Australian Olympic Committee.

“Playing in the Olympics was a goal this year; I planned my tournament schedule around Rio and made sure to fulfil my Olympic eligibility,” Kyrgios said in a statement on his website. “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 [AOC] has other plans.”

Last month, Australian Olympic chef de mission Kitty Chiller urged Kyrgios and the No. 2 Australian, Bernard Tomic, to improve their behavior if they hoped to be named to the Olympic team.

Tomic then withdrew from Olympic consideration. Kyrgios has now joined him after being eliminated in the third round of the French Open last week.

“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,” Kyrgios said in Thursday’s statement. “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.”

Men’s tennis players skipping Rio:

No. 15 Dominic Thiem (Austria)
No. 17 John Isner (USA)
No. 19 Nick Kyrgios (Australia)
No. 20 Kevin Anderson (South Africa)
No. 22 Bernard Tomic (Australia)
No. 23 Feliciano Lopez (Spain)

“The AOC’s unwarranted attacks on me demonstrate the organization’s inability to understand the circumstances surrounding highly competitive sports,” Kyrgios said in his statement. “I also don’t want the AOC’s treatment of me to become a distraction and negatively affect the Australian Olympic team.”

Kyrgios said in the penultimate sentence of his statement that he hopes to be on the 2020 Australia Olympic team.

MORE: Like golf, tennis’ return to Olympics in 1988 faced skeptics

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