Opals star Liz Cambage has left the Australian team camp in Las Vegas as she faces multiple allegations, which are currently under investigation.
NewsCorp can reveal Cambage is no longer in camp and teammates and officials don’t know where she has gone as she faces being booted from the Tokyo Olympics.
It leaves the Australian women in a difficult position, just hours before the team’s final exhibition game against Team USA from 4.30am (AEST).
The Australian Olympic Committee will make the final decision on Cambage’s fate given she is under the AOC’s watch as an Olympic athlete.
It’s understood Cambage was involved in a physical altercation during a private scrimmage against Nigeria, which resulted in heated verbal abuse.
The four-time WNBA All-Star has reportedly also broken team protocols to go out in Las Vegas, where she plays with the Aces in the WNBA, while it’s understood there is another incident being investigated by team officials.
Cambage‘s behaviour has upset Australian teammates and officials, and it’s believed she could be stood down from the Opals team for Tokyo.
Australian team Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman confirmed there was an ongoing investigation into the Cambage matter.
“We‘ve been informed by Basketball Australia that they’re investigating an issue,” Chesterman said.
“We have not received any further report except for that so it‘ll be a matter of them working through with Basketball Australia to see if there’s any resulting decisions that need to be made.
“I don’t know the details, I just know it’s being investigated by Basketball Australia.”
Opals legend and three-time Olympian Michele Timms has expressed her disappointment after hearing the alleged Cambage news, which threatens to end the star’s Olympic campaign.
“Enough is enough,” Timms said via her Facebook page.
“Not what you want to read a few days before the Olympics.
“Be very interesting to see if Cambage suits up vs USA tomorrow (Saturday) morning.”
The veteran centre didn’t play in Thursday’s WNBA All-Star clash after receiving a bump to her hip during Opals practice.
We are sick to death with our “stars” putting themselves above their own country. Andrew Bogut, Ben Simmons and now Liz Cambage to name a few. So yes our citizens are done supporting athletes that don’t support us.
— jimbo (@_jjimbo) July 16, 2021
If Cambage is ruled out for Tokyo, it would be a big blow for the Opals given she is the team’s best and most influential player.
The Opals’ original squad of 12 doesn’t have any travelling reserves and could be reduced to 11 if Cambage is stood down.
Cambage has never been far from controversy, having threatened not to go to Tokyo after declaring an AOC advertising campaign had “whitewashed” athletes of colour.
She caused a storm online when she shared two images — one of a Jockey ad as it was unveiled as the official underwear supplier for the Australian Olympic and Paralympic teams and one shot from the uniform unveiling.
She slammed the photos for the 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 MEANT TO REPRESENT A COUNTRY THAT DOESN’T EVEN REPRESENT ME.”
Cambage has also long been a campaigner for equality and has a strong presence in the Black Lives Matter campaign.
She has also engaged in heated online spats with Australian basketball great Andrew Bogut.
On-court she was ejected from a Commonwealth Games gold medal game in 2018 and from a pre-Olympic qualifier against Japan in 2019 for arguing with referees about how she was being defended.
Originally published as Cambage AWOL as she faces Olympics axe