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It could be like Munich: Oz legend

The former Australia swimmer Dawn Fraser has called for her country to boycott the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, citing fears of a tragedy similar to that which unfolded at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

india Updated: Aug 20, 2010 00:01 IST
The Guardian

The former Australia swimmer Dawn Fraser has called for her country to boycott the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, citing fears of a tragedy similar to that which unfolded at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

Fraser, a triple Olympic 100m freestyle champion who won medals at the 1956 and 1960 Games, fears security at this year's event — which starts in October — may not prevent the kind of massacre which left 11 Israeli athletes, coaches and officials dead at the hands of Palestinian terrorists in Munich 38 years ago.

She told the Courier Mail: "The Indians are telling us that security will be right. But they have also been telling us for months that their stadiums are ready to go too and quite obviously they're not. I would hate to see another Munich but, with things getting worse and worse, I have grave concerns. I know the Australian Commonwealth Games Association is doing everything it can with security but what's at the other end of the tunnel?"

Fraser is adamant the Indian authorities’ word cannot be taken at face value alone any more. "They can't get a hockey venue right yet they're still expecting everyone to trust them and turn up when they say it's all going to be OK," she added. "I know Australia has never boycotted a Commonwealth or Olympic Games but we're simply being told too many lies."

The ACGA chief executive, Perry Crosswhite, said Delhi's problems are exaggerated. He said: "If security is not at the acceptable levels Australia won't be going. To suggest otherwise is to accuse us of being irresponsible. But I think it's time someone provided a balanced view. I don't think Dawn's been to Delhi recently and I don't think she has the information we have."

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