Controversial Australian players Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios have been warned by the country’s Olympic chief to improve their behaviour or miss out on selection for Rio de Janeiro.
Tomic, who was once dubbed ‘Tomic the Tank Engine’ after he was accused of tanking a match against Andy Roddick at the 2012 US Open, was in the news again this week after holding up his racket by the strings on match point during his match against Fabio Fognini at the Madrid Open.
Following his match against the Italian player, Tomic told a News Corporation journalist when asked of his actions: “Would you care if you were 23 and worth over $10 million?”
“I think it was appalling behaviour,” Australia’s Olympic chef de mission Kitty Chiller told reporters in Sydney on Saturday.
“It goes against every value that all the Olympians live by, it goes against everything that we’ve been trying to build in this team.
“It is not behaviour that I would want any team member in a team that I’m responsible for to exhibit.”
Chiller added that Tomic and Kyrgios, who has a track record of abusing his opponents, fans and umpires, were not the only ones who stand to lose out on selection for the Rio Games if their behaviour doesn’t improve.
“Every athlete is under the microscope now,” Chiller added.
“There’s a few athletes that are on watch and those two names are among them.”
Ranked 21st and 22nd in the world, Kyrgios and Tomic are likely to be Australia’s main picks for the August 5-21, but Chiller maintained that Tennis Australia was obliged to only nominate athletes of ‘good standing’.
“It’s their responsibility to determine whether it’s appropriate to nominate them,” Chiller continued.
“If any athlete from any sport is nominated, we look at everything … including behaviour, including the disrepute clause.
“We have the ability to take that into consideration whether we proceed to select the nomination or not.”