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More Australian athletes to snub Delhi CWG: minister

india Updated: Sep 22, 2010 11:22 IST

More Australian athletes are likely to pull out of New Delhi's crisis-hit Commonwealth Games, the sports minister said Wednesday, after a tourist shooting and bridge collapse ramped up safety fears.

Minister for Sport Mark Arbib said Australia's Commonwealth Games chief Perry Crosswhite was expecting "a number more" to follow women's discus world champion Dani Samuels, who withdrew Tuesday over security and health concerns.

"He didn't have any information about any other athletes but he thought there could be a number more who made that decision," Arbib told Sky News.

He said Crosswhite would impose tough rules restricting athletes' visits to public places, after two Taiwanese tourists were wounded in a shooting in New Delhi on Sunday.

"He's... putting in place some pretty strict rules for athletes' travel while they're in Delhi," Arbib said.

"They'll be able to travel between venues and obviously in the (athletes') village but they're obviously concerned about travel in public areas and there will be restrictions on Australian team members."

Arbib said he respected Samuels' decision and urged athletes to study official travel bulletins which warn of a "high risk of terrorism" during the Games.

He insisted the government's stance was not compromised by trade ties with the Asian giant and a diplomatic relationship which has been shaken by attacks on Indian students.

"There is no tightrope for us. Our number one concern is the safety and security of Australian athletes," Arbib said.

The event, which starts on October 3, has also been hit by complaints over shoddy accommodation at the athletes' village, while 27 workers were injured in a bridge collapse at the main stadium on Tuesday.