The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) says Nick Kyrgios made the decision to pull out of selection for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and was not pushed by officials.
Kyrgios received a letter on Monday from the AOC, and its chef de mission Kitty Chiller said it was “unfair” to claim officials did not reach out to him.
“We have treated everyone fairly and justly and consistently. He’s been given every opportunity. We have reached out to him,” Chiller told the Seven Network.
“He was sent a letter, as were two other people, asking him to basically please explain and he chose to respond in this way.”
Kyrgios released a statement via his website earlier this week, outlining he will not be available for selection.
“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,” the statement read.
“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.
“I also don’t want the AOC’s treatment of me to become a distraction and negatively affect the Australian Olympic team.”
Chiller took aim at Tennis Australia, saying she is surprised they threw their support behind Kyrgios.
“For Tennis Australia to say he’s an athlete of good standing, I find it difficult,” she said.
Laver tells critics to leave Kyrgios alone
Tennis great Rod Laver has backed Kyrgios as a future major singles winner and told critics to lay off the young Australian following his decision to skip the Olympics.
Laver, the only man to win a grand slam twice, says the 21-year-old needed support, rather than censure.
“If we can encourage him and not criticise is probably the best thing that can happen right now,” he told News Limited.
“I think all this criticism, it’s like waving a red rag at a bull.
“The more he hears it, the more he’s going to be critical of everything – and nobody wins.”
Kyrgios’ withdrawal comes weeks after compatriot Bernard Tomic confirmed he would skip the Games over scheduling.
Tomic was also warned by Chiller about his behaviour on court.