AOC issues bad boys Rio ultimatum

By on January 4, 2016

AUSTRALIAN Olympics chef de mission Kitty Chiller says she wants only tennis players and golfers who “want to be in the team’’ in Rio de Janeiro in August.

Tomic opens his 2016 season on Tuesday night at Pat Rafter Arena against France’s former world No.9 Nicolas Mahut and his ranking, currently No.18, will assure him of being one of the 56 male direct entries qualified for Rio participation.

On Monday The Courier-Mail reported Bernard Tomic wants to play at the Rio Olympics but is unsure whether he will be able to do so amid an August scheduling squeeze which faces all tennis stars.

It prompted a rapid response from Tennis Australia via official channels.

“We had an email from TA this morning, saying Bernard has lost his log-on details (for a website),’’ an AOC spokesman said.

“So he can (now) go online and fill in the necessary documents for the AOC regarding travel, injections, etc – all the things he needs to do as a shadow team member.’’

Chiller said Tomic’s scheduling decision comes after golfer Adam Scott made public his views that he favours not playing golf at the Olympics.

“I’d love to see Adam, Jason (Day), Bernard and Nick Kyrgios there if they want to be there and respect what they are a part of,’’ Chiller said.

“That’s their choice and there are a lot of people giving their left arm to be in our Olympic team.’’

Bernard Tomic ahead of the Brisbane International. Pictures: Jack Tran

Bernard Tomic ahead of the Brisbane International. Pictures: Jack Tran Source: News Corp Australia

In July during Wimbledon, it was reported a concerned AOC was monitoring the behaviour on and off court of Kyrgios and Tomic.

TA agrees in its contract with the AOC for the 2016 Olympics cycle to “only nominate athletes of good standing’’.

This is not a common undertaking by the sporting federations which provide athletes to the AOC’s team.

“Clearly some of the tennis boys have their issues over the past 12 months,’’ Chiller said.

“Those athletes must be in good standing with their national federation. It’s defined by such things as not being subjected to suspensions or suspended sentences.

“We monitor the behaviour of any prospective team members – they all have to sign a stat declaration and disclose any activities that may bring their sport or the team in disrepute.’’

While Kyrgios has since been fined for his distasteful comments about Stan Wawrinka’s girlfriend in August, Tomic has kept his nose clean publicly in the intervening months.

Kyrgios will be suspended for 28 days and fined $ 25,000 if he incurs another fine for code of conduct breaches before the end of February.

“It would not automatically preclude an athlete, but it may be something that can be taken into consideration,’’ Chiller said.

TA will nominate a team to the AOC on July 4.

“If anyone is under suspension (in July), it would initially be up to TA whether they felt it was in their best interests and TA has shown by its Davis Cup selections in the past 12 months they are taking into consideration aspects of selection other than ranking,’’ Chiller said.

Tomic starts the year wanting to become a top-10 player and his first opponent is Mahut, who has career wins over Rafael Nadal in 2007 and over both Wawrinka and Lleyton Hewitt in 2013.

World No.4 Maria Sharapova is the star attraction of the Brisbane International day session when she takes on Russian compatriot Ekaterina Makarova, to whom she has not lost.


FOXSPORTS.com.au | Tennis

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