Cambage receives ‘formal reprimand’ for Nigerian team incident, three other charges dismissed

Liz Cambage has received a formal reprimand for her altercation with Nigerian players which led to her withdrawing from the Tokyo Olympics.

The decision means the 30-year-old WNBA centre and Olympic bronze medallist will still be eligible to play for the Opals at the FIBA Women’s World Cup in Sydney next September.

But a return to the Opals looks a long way off after her sudden withdrawal on the verge of the Olympics where the Opals struggled and were eliminated in the quarter-finals.

Basketball Australia officials are understood to be disappointed with the penalty after expecting Cambage would receive a stronger sanction than a reprimand.

A formal reprimand was the lowest penalty available to the independent hearing panel which also had the option to give Cambage a fine, suspension or clear her which they did on three other charges.

BA and Cambage have the option to appeal the findings but could face a three-month wait. A BA statement on Friday said both parties would not appeal and consider the matter closed.

A BA statement said the panel found Cambage guilty of prohibitive conduct on one charge and dismissed three other charges.

“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,” the statement said.

“Charges in relation to the other three alleged incidents were dismissed. The independent hearing panel have issued her with a formal reprimand.”

The hearing, held on October 29, saw video and audio evidence of the altercation along with hearing evidence directly from Cambage.

Cambage was charged with prohibited conduct under BA’s National Framework for Ethical Behaviour and Integrity in Basketball for her verbal and physical altercation with players on the Nigerian women’s team during their pre-Olympic warm-up game.

Soon after the incident, Cambage withdrew from the Olympics citing ongoing mental health issues.

After the Olympics finished, Cambage finished the WNBA season with the Las Vegas Aces and has returned to working as a DJ performing dance music sets at nightspots in the US in recent weeks.

The prolonged investigation and hearing has overshadowed BA’s promotion of the upcoming WNBL season which begins on December 3.

Cambage has not signed with any WNBL sides for this season after playing a starring role in Southside Flyers championship win in the WNBL hub season last December.

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