Australian star swimmer Kyle Chalmers has said media coverage could prompt his retirement from the sport ©Getty Images

Australian swimmer Kyle Chalmers, who has already won two relay gold medals at Birmingham 2022, has said false stories about a rift with team-mates Emma McKeon and Cody Simpson "could end" his career.

The 24-year-old dated McKeon last year but the couple have since broken up and she is now reportedly in a relationship with Simpson.

Chalmers has objected to reports that resurfaced on Friday night (July 29) after he and McKeon helped Australia win gold in the 4x100 metres freestyle mixed relay, with some stories putting him in the role of a jilted lover and suggesting he ignored his former girlfriend in the victory celebrations.

"It’s all just false news that is actually just crap, it’s honestly just a load of shit that is not true," Chalmers, who won gold at the Rio 2016 Olympics and took silver at last year's Tokyo 2020 Olympics, told reporters at Sandwell Aquatics Centre.

"I definitely said congratulations," Chalmers said. 

"If you watch the race back I actually walk up and say good job across the pool."

McKeon agreed.

"He did [offer congratulations]," she said after winning another gold on Australia’s women’s 4x100m freestyle relay team.

Chalmers yesterday night also won gold as part of Australia’s men’s 4x100m freestyle team.

His swim helped earn Simpson a gold medal too - the celebrity swimmer, who has a former career as a pop star, will get a gold for being a heat swimmer in the event.

"I say good luck to Cody, I say good job to Cody, I sent him a message after the race," Chalmers said.

"I do nothing but be as positive as I possibly can.

"I support him on the team but, again, people just want clickbait on the article.

"It’s unfortunate that I can’t do anything right at this point in time."

In an Instagram post published in the early hours of this morning, Chalmers took aim at "false news" and warned he could retire if the focus of those following the sport did not change.

"Tonight in Birmingham we should’ve been celebrating as a team for all the medals that were won in the pool," Chalmers wrote.

"We capped off the night with a gold in both freestyle relay teams.

"Instead, the line of questioning by the media decided to pick up where they started back in May after trials.

"I don’t know how many more times it needs to be said by not only me but my fellow team mates, but these fake storyline’s (sic) are doing more harm than good.

“I have dedicated my life to this sport and representing my country. 

"I am your poster boy from 2016 and I’m your villain in 2022."

Kyle Chalmers, second right, pictured after winning 4x100m freestyle relay gold at Birmingham 2022 alongside Emma McKeon, left ©Getty Images
Kyle Chalmers, second right, pictured after winning 4x100m freestyle relay gold at Birmingham 2022 alongside Emma McKeon, left ©Getty Images

Chalmers alleged some in the media knew "false headlines create clicks and earn them money".

"But do you know what it does to the humans you write about? 

"It breaks them down little by little, and tonight is the breaking point.

"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.

"I don’t swim for this, I didn’t get into the sport to have to deal with this.

"I swim to inspire and I swim because I love my sport and it gives me purpose. 

"This could end my time in swimming, I hope you are all aware.

"My mental health right now from all of this over the months is at rock bottom, I really hope that pleases the key board warriors that continue to write false news."

Meanwhile Australian team captain Madi Wilson has written "Enough with click bait and shitty headlines" in her own critical post.

"Tonight I sat on the bus with 5 other Commonwealth Games gold medalists, all deflated," she wrote.

"We need to be more aware that we are people…

"Some of the lines of questioning is hurting my teammates and enough is enough.

"As a leader of this team I want my team-mates incredibly proud of these achievements, not in tears and scared of what story or comment will be written about.

"Be careful of what you read, we are the envy of so many countries over here and I won’t stand to see my team in tears when they are on top of the world.

"I know Australia is proud and so am I.

"But enough with the click bait and shitty headlines."

Swimming continues at Birmingham 2022 today - the third of six consecutive days of racing.