Olympic values first and foremost: Chiller

Olympic values first and foremost: Chiller

Olympic chef de mission Kitty Chiller says she will enforce what she considers to be Olympic values, even if it means forgoing Australian gold medals.

The former pentathlete, speaking to reporters in Sydney on Saturday, said she had no regret over the way in which tennis star Nick Kyrgios withdrew from the Rio Games.

Kyrgios said on Friday that the Australian Olympic Committee was “unfair and unjust” in its relations with him, and that no-one had contacted him from the AOC.

He said he was disappointed “to have been put in this unfortunate position” and elected to skip the Games in August as a result.

However Ms Chiller said Kyrgios was not telling the truth.

“Contrary to what was in his statement, we had reached out to him. He received a letter on the 30th of May, last week, asking him to please explain,” Ms Chiller said.

“He chose not to respond to that, and to withdraw.”

Ms Chiller put the 21-year-old “on notice” in May, saying she’d be embarrassed if Kyrgios misbehaved on court in Rio.

She said on Saturday that he would come to regret his decision to miss the Games.

“I’m disappointed when any athlete doesn’t understand what it means to be an Olympian,” Ms Chiller said.

“We fought long and hard for the past three years to establish a set of behaviours for our team in Rio.

“I asked myself, this might mean one day that you send a gold medallist home or that a potential medallist doesn’t get picked in the team, and I’m very comfortable with that.”

She said hockey player Anna Flanagan, who attempted to conceal a drink-driving charge from Hockey Australia, and shooter Michael Diamond, who was arrested on drink-driving and firearm charges in May, received the exact same treatment as Kyrgios.

They will now have to explain their actions before the AOC executive.

Ms Chiller earlier told the Seven Network she was surprised Tennis Australia threw their support behind Kyrgios, having backed the world No.19 for an Olympic spot.

“For Tennis Australia to say he’s an athlete of good standing, I find it difficult,” she said.

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