Dokic holds off committing to Olympics

Jelena Dokic, Australia's top-ranked female tennis player, says she wants to play in the September 15-October 1 Sydney Olympics, provided organisers meet her list of demands.

Jelena Dokic, Australia's top-ranked female tennis player, says she wants to play in the September 15-October 1 Sydney Olympics, provided organisers meet her list of demands.

The 17-year-old Dokic, a semifinalist at Wimbledon, doesn't want to stay with the Australian team in the athlete's village because she lives nearby.

She wants her father, Damir Dokic, accredited as her coach and says she wants to use equipment and clothes supplied by her sponsors instead of the those provided as part of the Australian team uniform.

Dokic said she'll negotiate further with the Australian Olympic Committee before signing a letter of agreement to compete.

"Hopefully they'll let me off it and I think they will," she told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio. "By the sounds of it I think I'll get away with it and be able to play."

The AOC said it would permit Dokic to live outside the athlete's village as long as she took responsibility for her own security and transport arrangements.

AOC media director Mike Tancred said Australian officials were delighted to hear Dokic wanted to play.

He said Damir Dokic could be accredited as a hitting partner for his daughter during the games, but the AOC was unlikely to meet the demands of non-official team sponsors.

"Everyone on the team, it doesn't matter how high profile you are, has to abide by the team agreement in that you wear our sponsors' clothing - Nike, or Speedo if you are a swimmer," he said.

Dokic, whose short career has been plagued with controversies - many involving her father - threatened to boycott the Olympics earlier this year, saying she felt betrayed by tennis officials and the media.

Dokic said the boycott would be revenge for the treatment she received during the 2000 Australian Open in January, where she was fined for arriving late for a press conference after being eliminated.

The Aussie No. 1 said she was late because she'd been to church, then read from a statement which described the woman who beat her, Rita Kuti Kis of Hungary, as a player without a future.

Her father hit the headlines last year after being ejected from a tournament in Birmingham and then lying on the road in front of traffic outside the stadium.

At Wimbledon this year, Damir Dokic was questioned by police after smashing a telephone belonging to a journalist.

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