Former Australian football star Craig Foster has urged Basketball Australia (BA) to be more transparent about superstar Liz Cambage‘s exit from the Opals’ Tokyo Olympics campaign.
In the lead-up to the Tokyo Games, the WNBA superstar withdrew from the Australian squad, for which she flagged mental health issues, including panic attacks.
In Cambage’s absence, the Opals got thumped in the quarter-finals by Team USA.
But prior to the 30-year-old’s withdrawal, Cambage was involved in a heated clash during a warm-up game against Nigeria, getting into a physical altercation and exchanging words with the opposition.
Following an independent BA review into the matter, Cambage wasn’t fined or suspended despite being found guilty of one charge.
“The panel, after examination of the evidence before it, determined that Elizabeth Cambage did engage in conduct that brought Basketball Australia into censure in relation to one of the incidents charged,” BA said in a statement.
Foster, who was discussing the matter alongside netball great Liz Ellis, suggested BA’s statement failed to give fans and outsiders a better understanding of what went down.
“In terms of the sanction, I agree… no one is the wiser as to what’s gone on,” Foster told Nine’s Sports Sunday.
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“I have general mistrust anyway of much of what sport does when it closes ranks and many of the panels and enquires that both of us (Foster and Liz Ellis) have sat on many times.
“I think it’s important for people to know just a little bit of clarity around what happened, what was the actual charge, what was the incident?
“Not about Liz (Cambage), but in sport, the inference can always be that the star players are necessary for the game and we want them to play in the next one.
“I’m not saying that’s the case here. What I’m saying is – that some clarity on what goes on inside these chambers, in sport, I think it’s really important.”