Australian Olympic Committee chef de mission Kitty Chiller has refused to speculate on whether Bernard Tomic had beaten selectors to the punch by ruling himself out of the Rio Games.
But Chiller has again set her sights on fellow tennis bad boy Nick Kyrgios, saying his “ill advised” response to being put on notice by the AOC showed he did not know what it meant to be an Australian Olympian.
Tomic’s selection was under a cloud after he deliberately gave up a match point at a tournament in Madrid, saying he didn’t care because he is 23 and worth $10 million.
Chiller had described his match antics as “appalling”.
Tomic said he based his decision to withdraw on what was best for his career.
“It’s his choice. We don’t force anyone to take part in the Olympic Games,” Chiller said.
“We only want people in our team who want to be there and prepared to abide by what that team means.”
Asked if Tomic had saved selectors the trouble of overlooking him, Chiller said: “That’s irrelevant now.
“My stance hasn’t changed. Bernard was on notice, that hasn’t changed, now that he has withdrawn now makes it irrelevant.”
Tomic and Kyrgios were both placed on notice by Chiller last week after a raft of behavioural issues on and off the court.
Kyrgios made light of it via social media and all but dared Chiller to overlook him for Rio at a recent post-match press conference.
“I think his comments show maybe he doesn’t really know what it means to be an Australian Olympian,” Chiller said.
“It’s not just about winning on the court, it is how you go about it.
“Thousands of Australians would give anything, devote their whole lives to be an Olympics and adhere to what that means.
“If someone doesn’t see the value in that then that’s their loss.”
Tomic confirmed he would instead play at an ATP World Tour tournament in Los Cabos in Mexico during the Olympics.
“With a heavy sense of regret, I have made the difficult decision to not play with the Australian tennis team as they pursue an Olympic medal in Rio,” Tomic said in a statement.
“I have always proudly represented my country in Davis Cup and given my all when wearing the green and gold.
“But on the basis of my extremely busy playing schedule and my own personal circumstances, I am regrettably unable to commit to this year’s tournament.”
The event in Mexico has replaced a tournament in Bogota that Tomic has won the past two years, meaning he will be defending significant rankings points.
“It is extremely unfortunate that the date of the tournament has changed this year to clash with the Olympics in Rio,” Tomic said.
“I had made a commitment to the tournament’s organisers to defend my title before I knew that the date changed.”