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James Willis sets the record straight on Liz Cambage’s Olympic withdrawal

Article image for James Willis sets the record straight on Liz Cambage’s Olympic withdrawal

James Willis has set the record straight on the situation with Australian basketball star Liz Cambage, who today withdrew from the Olympics on mental health grounds.

James Willis said he hopes she has support around her and spends some time away from basketball, but the main narrative mustn’t be overshadowed.

The withdrawal follows reports the Opals star was involved in a physical and verbal altercation with Nigerian players during a match in Las Vegas, now under investigation by Basketball Australia’s Integrity Division (full statement below).

“She’s been a vocal, almost daily supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“She’s wrongly accused, without evidence, the Victorian Police of racism.

“She threatened to boycott the Olympic Games with Australia … because our team wasn’t diverse enough.

“[It’s alleged] Cambage starts breaking the [biosecurity] rules: she’s going out all night, ignoring team directions – multiple breaches of the rules in camp.

“It’s alleged that Liz Cambage whacked a Nigerian player … [and] abused the Nigerians on court with words that I wouldn’t dare repeat here.”

Press PLAY below to hear James’ comments in full

Full statement from Basketball Australia:

“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.

“As Liz has withdrawn from the Olympic Games due to mental health reasons we will not make any comments on the status of the investigation until the matter is concluded.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.”

Image: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

James Willis
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