Commonwealth Games: Australia swimmer Kyle Chalmers threatens to quit over ‘false headlines’

Australian swimmer Kyle Chalmers says his “time in the sport will be finished” if “false headlines” continue to circulate.

The 2016 Olympic champion has dismissed talk of a rift with Commonwealth Games swimming team-mates Cody Simpson and Emma McKeon. Simpson is reportedly dating McKeon, Chalmers’ ex-girlfriend.

Posting on Instagram, the 24-year-old said “tonight is the breaking point”.

“I am your poster boy from 2016 and I’m your villain in 2022,” Chalmers added.

Chalmers – who won the 100m freestyle Olympic title in Rio six years ago – has earned two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games, as part of Australia’s 4x100m freestyle mixed relay and 4x100m freestyle relay.

He added: “Up until this point, I’ve tried to just keep on moving forward but tonight I ask that you please stop writing these false headlines, otherwise my time in the sport will be finished.”

Chalmers’ comments were echoed by Madi Wilson, who said members of the team were “deflated” despite winning gold medals.

“Some of the lines of questioning [by journalists] is hurting my team-mates and enough is enough,” she wrote on her Instagram story. “Be careful of what you read.”

Scotland’s Duncan Scott, who will have to beat Chalmers if he is to retain his Commonwealth 100m freestyle title on Monday, said the Australian is a “servant to the sport” after the pair advanced from the semi-finals.

“Kyle has a point to prove,” he said. “The media have been pretty tough on him the last few days – even this season in fact.

“He’s an absolute servant to the sport . What he’s done in the 100m freestyle is remarkable. He’s someone that I look up to a lot and we’re good mates as well. So it’ll be a good battle.”