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Under-pressure Kyrgios pulls from Australian Olympic consideration

Europe
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London (dpa) - Controversial Australian Nick Kyrgios on Friday withdrew his name for Rio Olympic consideration after bullying and threats from national Olympic officials over his past reputation as a tennis bad boy.

The ATP number 19, preparing for the grass season, threw in the towel with a statement: "Coming to this decision has been a lengthy and difficult process, and I am extremely disappointed to have been put in this unfortunate position.

"Representing Australia at the Olympic Games has been a dream of mine since I was a kid. Playing in the Olympics was a goal this year; I planned my tournament schedule around Rio and made sure to fulfill my Olympic eligibility.

"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.

"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."

The 21-year-old has been hammered by Olympic official Kitty Chiller, who has hinted for weeks that Kyrgios would not be picked for any selection.

Australian chances at the Games have now been buried after Bernard Tomic pulled out last month, saying he would play an event in Mexico rather than bother with the troubled-plagued Brazilian Olympics.

Also missing the event will be French Open semi-finalist Dominic Thiem of Austria and John Isner of the US.

Kyrgios received support from Tennis Australia, but the body apparently has no say in the selection for the Olympics.

The colourful and hot-tempered Kyrgiois has been a polarizing figure in tennis due to his various disciplinary scrapes of 2015 which have calmed considerably this season as he concentrates on his game.

The player said that he had received no contact from national Olympic officials (AOC) after his public humiliation from Chiller.

"The AOC‘s unwarranted attacks on me demonstrate the organization‘s inability to understand the circumstances surrounding highly competitive sports. I‘m a proud Australian and have always loved representing my country.

"I‘m fortunate to be young enough to hopefully have a chance to wear the green and gold at the Olympics in the future. I hope that in four years I will find myself in the position to be a part of the Australian Olympic team."

Tennis Australia came out with a boilerplate statement of support: "We understand Nick‘s decision and totally support him and his right to make it," said boss Steve Healy. "But we are very disappointed that he has been put in this position.

"Nick‘s performances this year have improved. His growing maturity is reflected in his on court performance, with only world number one Novak Djokovic defeating more top 10 players than Nick has this year.

"He has received support from a lot of other tennis players and athletes. But now Nick has made this difficult decision we should let him focus on his tennis without further distraction."

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