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Despite dengue scare in Delhi, Australia to send biggest delegation

Australia has issued an advisory to its citizens about the dengue in Delhi but that will not deter the "biggest" Australian contingent from coming here for the Commonwealth Games next month, Peter Varghese, the country's High Commissioner, said here on Thursday.

india Updated: Sep 10, 2010 01:17 IST

Australia has issued an advisory to its citizens about the dengue in Delhi but that will not deter the "biggest" Australian contingent from coming here for the Commonwealth Games next month, Peter Varghese, the country's High Commissioner, said here on Thursday.

"We have been keeping our team and others advised about preparations for the Games and developments," Varghese told reporters. "We have also provided advice through our travel advisories about the seasonal outbreak of dengue fever but these are not things that are going to stop the Games," he added.

The envoy said that despite the dengue scare, Australia was looking forward to Games, the biggest sporting event Delhi will be hosting since the 1982 Asian Games.

Meanwhile. Australia's reigning Commonwealth 400m champion John Steffensen will boycott the Games because of a dispute with Athletics Australia, reports said. Steffensen, 28, who won the 400m and 400m relay at the 2006 Melbourne Games, said he wants to expose the "bullying, egotism and outdated approach" of the national governing body.

"This is the toughest decision I've ever had to make but I want people to realise this is more than another headline, more than someone creating controversy," Steffensen said.

Rudisha's pullout defended by Kenya
Nairobi: Kenyan athletics chiefs have defended world 800m record holder David Rudisha's decision to pull out of the Commonwealth Games. "He explained his case to us and we feel he has done this country proud and he deserves a rest," Athletics Kenya secretary David Okeyo said.

The 21-year-old returned to his African home on Wednesday for the first time since breaking the record twice last month and explained his decision to his countrymen. "The Games are being held unusually late in the year when the focus has turned to next year's World Championships in South Korea," he told reporters at Nairobi.
"Moreover, I feel tired after a very busy season and I need some rest before resuming training." Athletics Kenya named Abraham Kiplagat to replace him. Other Kenyan runners in the 800m will be Richard Kiplagat and Boaz Lalang.

'Zero tolerance for doping'
New Delhi: A zero tolerance attitude will be adopted to check doping in the CWG, chef-de-mission of the Indian contingent Bhubaneswar Kalita said on Thursday and stressed that strict anti-doping measures were in place. "There will be zero tolerance when it comes to doping. There will be no compromise whatsoever," Kalita said.

NZ cyclist banned
Wellington: New Zealand track cyclist Adam Stewart has been banned for two years for attempting to use a banned substance. Stewart was banned by New Zealand's Sports Tribunal on Thursday.