Australia committed to the CWG: Crosswhite
There was some respite for the beleaguered Commonwealth Games Organising Committee as Australia said it is committed to sending its team for the Oct 3-14 Games.india Updated: Sep 22, 2010 21:41 IST
There was some respite for the beleaguered Commonwealth Games Organising Committee as Australia said it is committed to sending its team for the Oct 3-14 Games.
While some Commonwealth nations Wednesday expressed grave concerns over the Games Village and the safety and security of venues, Australian Commonwealth Games Association chief executive Perry Crosswhite said abandoning the Games had not been discussed by his nation.
"No, not at all," Crosswhite said.
Crosswhite, however called for greater efficiency in security.
"I think you have to be very careful to make that kind of decision because what you are essentially doing is making that decision on behalf of 400 athletes.
"The reality is, they are the ones the Games are for and in some respects they are the ones that have to make the decision about whether they want to come here or not.
"You certainly are in a situation where health and safety and all those issues need to be met. But if they are - and they are - of an acceptable standard, then the Games are for the athletes and they are the ones that should come along and make those decisions.
"... They can have their views and all the rest of it, but I don't think we certainly have the right to make their decision unless it's based on something that we are trying to protect them from a security or health issue," Crosswhite was quoted as saying by the Australian Associated Press.
Australia's world champion discus thrower Dani Samuels Tuesday withdrew from the Games but Crosswhite, who earlier Wednesday spoke with Australian officials from the 17 sports at the Games, said no other athletes had indicated they would follow suit.
"None of them (Australian officials) said to me that they had any issues in respect of athletes advising them that they had similar concerns to Dani," Crosswhite said.
"All athletes, particularly with what they see in the media in Australia, they have every right to be concerned because they don't see any of the better side of it which they will certainly see when they get here - but they're not here yet."
About 400 Australian athletes will contest the Games. Most of them will arrive here next Wednesday.
Australia's accommodation at the athletes village was acceptable, Crosswhite said. He acknowledged displeasure of other nations with their facilities in separate blocks.
"Some people have let themselves down, it might have been the developers of the village," he said.
"There are things that need to be corrected.
"I'm comfortable ... as long as the hard work that has started now is maintained and probably increases.
"There are a number of defects that need to be fixed, but it's not like buildings are going to fall down or anything.
Crosswhite said heavy security around the village was an issue - not for any lack of safety, but for expediency.
"The security, which is really tight, needs to be bedded down to some extent," he said.
"It's friendly, but it's just massive and it needs to be more - I guess the word would be - more efficient letting people through, in an out.