Liz Cambage: The REAL reason why Australian basketball star quit Olympic squad
Basketball Australia has launched an inquiry into Liz Cambage's shocking withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympic Games only days before the competition, news outlets reported on Monday, July 19. Cambage dropped out of the tournament last week, saying she was at 'breaking point' and confirming allegations that she was engaged in an altercation during a warm-up game against Nigeria.
The WNBA star is the latest athlete to withdraw from Tokyo Olympics, joining NBA star Kevin Love. Several athletes quit the Summer Games earlier due to Covid-19 concerns. Cambage, however, had said she quit the Games over mental health concerns that stemmed from the prospect of having to live 'in a bubble' during the Games.
After several rumors of the Olympics being canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the world is looking forward as Tokyo gears up for the games which are slated to start on July 23, 2021, and will go on till August 8. Cambage took to Instagram to announce that she is withdrawing from the Olympics this year. In light of the events surrounding Cambage's quitting of the Games, here's what we know about why the WNBA star took the decision.
Why did Liz Cambage quit the Olympics?
"The circumstances surrounding the incident that occurred during the scrimmage between Nigeria and Australia involving Liz Cambage are currently under investigation for a breach of the integrity framework and code of conduct," Basketball Australia said in a statement, as reported by Daily Mail. "As Liz has withdrawn from the Olympic Games due to mental health reasons we will not make any comments on the status of the investigation until the matter is concluded. The investigation is being managed by Basketball Australia’s Integrity Division." The altercations are set to be the focal point of the governing body's inquiry.
Andrew Bogut, an NBA champion and Olympics commentator, chimed in on the Opals' surprise departure. "Having mental health issues does not mean you cannot be criticized," the Australian basketball icon said. "Poor behavior and engaging in poor team culture can be a separate issue from mental health. Yes, one's behavior can be erratic when facing a mental health battle, but this does not give you permission to behave in the way Liz reportedly has."
Bogut described Cambage as "one of the best players in the world", and claimed that mental health issues weren't the sole reason for her sudden departure from the games. Elaborating, he said, "I believe her withdrawal from the Olympics, in my opinion, is the repercussions of her behavior." Cambage withdrew from the Games last week after a number of charges were made public, including an alleged physical and verbal fight with the Nigerian team during training, as well as accusations that she broke Covid-19 regulations by leaving the hotel to go out in Vegas, a point which the basketball star, however, denied.
Taking to Instagram stories, Cambage wrote: "This decision has been a few days in the making but I'd been at breaking point for a month or so now. As soon as I put out that little statement yesterday and made the final decision, I felt a world of anxiety and pressure and heaviness I had been carrying lift straight off me." She added that she was "pretty annoyed at all the fake news and lies that I'm seeing in news articles and being shown and being asked about."
"I just want to say this decision was coming and I'm happy I finally made it on my own terms," she went on to say. "It's sad that news got leaked yesterday that I didn't even know about. Yeah, things got heated in the Nigeria game and there was a physical altercation, words were exchanged, but I'm hearing things that aren't true at all flying around. Everything that happened and everything that was said is on film. I know what happened and I do not appreciate the lies and the people constantly trying to tear me down. Hating on me won't bring you love, at all."