Liz Cambage BLASTS ‘lies’ as she clears the air on her surprise withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympics.
Liz Cambage, the Australian basketball star, has slammed “lies” and “fake news” in the aftermath of her surprise withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympics.
Cambage, emotional, posted an email to her Instagram account, stating that she had reached a mental breaking point.
She described Friday’s announcement as “literally the most difficult decision of my life.”
However, Cambage stated that once the decision was made, she felt “a world” of anxiety, pressure, and heaviness lift off her.
Cambage also denied rumours that she had shattered the Opals team’s bubble, stating that she had not left her hotel room in a week except to play.
“Here we go once more,” she stated.
“I had been on the verge of breaking point for about a month.
However, as soon as I released that brief statement yesterday and made my final decision, the fake news and lies that I have seen floating around in news articles, being shown and being questioned about… umm… yeah.”
“I despise the lies and the people who are constantly attempting to tear me down – hating on me will not bring you any love.”
Cambage withdrew following reports that she was involved in on- and off-court incidents that enraged her Australian teammates, as well as allegedly leaving the team camp in Las Vegas in violation of team protocol.
In her video, she addressed speculation about an on-court incident during this week’s Opals match against Nigeria.
“Yeah, the Nigeria game got heated; there was a physical altercation and words were exchanged.
However, I am hearing things that are not true.
“Everything that occurred and everything I said is documented,” she explained.
The 29-year-old added that she had been “trapped” in her hotel room for a week and expressed regret for not being able to go out and party.
“Of course I’m going to have a mental breakdown in here. Are you sure?” she inquired.
“I’m aware that some people in Vegas are having a great time this week, but I’ve been in here, bro.”
Cambage also described breakdowns, non-stop panic attacks, and hyperventilation at the prospect of competing in the Tokyo Games and its COVID-19 requirements.
“I’ve never performed in front of an audience,” she explained. “I’m not comfortable in a bubble. I’m not comfortable performing in front of an empty crowd. Mentally, I’m an escapist; if I’m unable to flee a situation, I experience anxiety and panic.
“Once you enter Tokyo, there is absolutely no way out except to leave.”
The Opals’ Olympics campaign has been thrown into disarray as a result of Cambage’s withdrawal.
Between 2000 and 2008, the Opals won three consecutive silver medals and two bronze Olympic medals, but finished fifth in Rio five years ago.
They were a legitimate contender for gold in Tokyo, ranked No. 2 in the world, with Cambage leading a deep roster that included five current WNBA players.
The Opals defeated the United States 70-67 in a pre-Games match hours after she withdrew from the team.