Brussels: World No. 2 Kim Clijsters will not represent Belgium at next summer’s Olympic Games after a wrangle over sponsored clothing.
The 20-year-old said she will instead stay loyal to her own clothing sponsor rather than wear a rival company’s offiical Belgian uniform at the Games.
Clijsters said on Monday she wanted to “remain fair” to her sponsors — Italian clothing manufacturer Fila — after they had shown faith in her two years ago. She has repeatedly said she will not wear tennis clothing from Belgium’s Olympic sponsor Adidas.
“As long as my clothing remains an issue, it is impossible for me to go to the Olympics,” Clijsters said last month.
On Monday she said she had reached a decision. “I’ve decided not to go to the Olympic Games,” she said in a diary for her official web site. “I want to remain fair to the people I made a contract with. They were the only ones who wanted me two years ago.”
Clijsters wished her compatriot Justine Henin-Hardenne — already sponsored by Adidas — luck at the Olympics.
“I really hope Justine takes the gold in Athens and hopefully the other Belgians take plenty of medals as well,” she said. “I’ll be their number one supporter.”
However, Clijsters will fly the flag for her Fed Cup team next year after turning her back on the Belgian cause last month.