Fraser calls for Delhi CWG boycott, ACGA rejects it
Fearing Munich Olympics like terror attack in the Delhi Commonwealth Games, swimming legend Dawn Fraser today called on athletes to boycott the event but the Australian Commonwealth Games Association rejected her apprehensions insisting that the Indian capital would be safe and secure.world Updated: Aug 19, 2010 18:05 IST
Fearing Munich Olympics like terror attack in the Delhi Commonwealth Games, swimming legend Dawn Fraser today called on athletes to boycott the event but the Australian Commonwealth Games Association rejected her apprehensions insisting that the Indian capital would be safe and secure.
Fraser has called on the Aussie athletes to consider boycotting the October 3 to 14 Games as there could be terror attacks like the Munich Olympics there.
Winner of eight Olympic medals and holder of several world records, the 73-year-old Fraser said she does not believe in India's security promises.
"The Indians are telling us that security will be right. But they've also been telling us for months that their stadiums are ready to go too and quite obviously they're not," Fraser told Courier Mail.
"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," she asked.
But ACGA Chief Executive Perry Crosswhite downplayed her fears and said the former swimmer is far removed from what is actually happening in Delhi.
"I don't think Dawn's been to Delhi recently and I don't think she has the information we have, if she did I don't think she would have made the comments she did," he said.
"We believe at this stage, it will be safe and it will be secure. My personal view is that the Commonwealth Games is not going to be a target, because most of the nations in the Commonwealth are developing nations, we have all religions and we have all political systems," he added.
During the 1972 Munich Olympics, 11 Israeli athletes, coaches and officials were taken hostage and killed by Palestinian terrorists.
Fraser said it is hard to believe the assurances given by the Indian organisers in the wake of repeatedly missed deadlines on venue completion.
"So 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," Fraser said.
Fraser is not the only former Aussie athlete to have fears about the Delhi Games. Athletics stalwart Raelene Boyle, who won two Olympic silvers in Munich, went a step further and said Delhi should not have been awarded the Games.
"That's the bottom line. Regarding security, it certainly provides a precarious situation so it's really up to individuals whether they go," Boyle said.
"But they're young athletes who wait their whole lives for this - they'll go."
First Published: Aug 19, 2010 18:03 IST