Cambage withdraws from Tokyo Olympics after ‘behavioral’ bombshell
Australian basketball superstar Liz Cambage withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics, citing mental health concerns, after an explosive report was released.
Liz Cambage left the Australian team’s camp in Las Vegas as she faced several allegations, which are currently under investigation.
NewsCorp can reveal Cambage withdrew from camp after facing the ax over behavioral issues.
On Friday, she posted a statement on social media, revealing that she had had panic attacks and had difficulty sleeping or eating over the past month.
“I know myself and can’t be the Liz everyone deserves to see compete for the Opals,” Cambage wrote.
“Every athlete competing in the Olympics should be at their mental and physical peak, and at the moment I am far from where I want and need to be.
“It’s no secret that in the past I’ve had mental health issues and recently I’ve been worried about heading into an Olympic ‘bubble’.
“No family. No friends. No fans. No support system outside of my team. It’s frankly terrifying to me. Last month I had panic attacks, I don’t sleep and I do not eat.
This leaves the Australians in a difficult position, just hours before the team’s final exhibition match against Team USA starting at 4.30am (AEST).
It is understood that Cambage was involved in a physical altercation during a private scrimmage against Nigeria, which resulted in heated verbal abuse.
The quadruple WNBA All-Star is also said to have broken team protocols to go out to Las Vegas, where she plays with the WNBA Aces, as another incident is understood to be under investigation by team leaders.
Cambage’s behavior shocked his Aussie teammates and officials
Great Australian basketball player Chris Anstey said Friday Cambage can be “unbearable” to be a teammate.
“At her best, Liz Cambage is one of the best basketball pairs in the world,” he told SEN.
“At worst, she’s unbearable being a teammate.”
Australian team chief of mission Ian Chesterman has confirmed that an investigation is underway into the Cambage affair.
“We have been informed by Basketball Australia that they are investigating an issue,” Chesterman said.
Opal legend and three-time Olympian Michele Timms expressed disappointment after hearing the alleged news from Cambage.
“Enough is enough,” Timms said via his Facebook page.
“Not what you want to read a few days before the Olympics.
“Be very interesting to see if Cambage adjusts against the United States tomorrow (Saturday) morning.”
The veteran center did not play in the WNBA All-Star clash on Thursday after receiving a hip bump during training from the Opals.
Cambage’s removal is a blow to the Opals as she is the best and most influential player on the team.
The original Opals team of 12 have no travel reserves and could be reduced to 11.
Cambage was never far from the controversy, having threatened not to travel to Tokyo after claiming that an AOC advertising campaign had “Whitewashed” athletes of color.
She caused a storm online when she shared two images – one of a Jockey ad as it was disclosed as the official underwear supplier for the Australian Olympic and Paralympic teams and a photo of the unveiling of the uniform.
She criticized the photos for lack of diversity with Cambage writing on the Jockey ad: “If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a million times, HOW AM I GOING TO REPRESENT A COUNTRY THAT DOESN’T NOT EVEN REPRESENTS ME. “
Cambage has also been a long-time equality advocate and has a strong presence in the Black Lives Matter campaign.
She has also engaged in heated online feuds with the great Australian basketball player Andrew Bogut.
On the pitch, she was sent off from a Commonwealth Games gold medal match in 2018 and a pre-Olympic qualifier against Japan in 2019 for arguing with the referees over how from which it was defended.