Thursday, April 2, 2009

No Questioning in 2010 CWG security: Crosswhite

No Questioning in 2010 CWG security: CrosswhiteAustralian Commonwealth Games Association has denied threatening to withdraw its athletes from the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi over security concerns and also apologised for the erroneous reporting by the media Down Under.

"Regarding the recent media reports about Australia's participation in the 2010 Games, I asked Mike Hooper to let you know that the media reports were inaccurate," ACGA chief executive Perry Crosswhite wrote in an e-mail to Indian Olympic Association general secretary Randhir Singh.

"I did not say that Australia would not take part and I am very concerned that this has been reported in this way," he said.

The IOA general secretary had reacted to Crosswhite's comments, saying "Terrorism is a global threat and should be treated as such. Who could ever imagine a 9/11 or that a tragic event during the Munich Olympics could ever occur".

He had also promised "highest-level security" for the 2010 event. Crosswhite had reportedly said a security assessment one month before the 2010 Games would play a crucial role in the Commonwealth Games Federation deciding whether to go ahead with the event in India after the Lahore terror strike on Sri Lankan cricketers earlier this month.

"We are still 18 months out. I'd say a year out will be a crucial point in time and then six months, three months and one month. At the end of the day it's our decision (if Australia sends a team) and we have to make that call with the best information we have at the time," Crosswhite was quoted as saying by the Courier Mail earlier this month.

Crosswhite, in his communique to Randhir, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee, apologised for causing concern among the organisers of Delhi CWG.

"I know that this has caused some concerns among my friends at the IOA and I apologise for the Australian press reports," he said.

The ACGA CEO also assured the IOA of his support for the Games. "As you know, I have always supported the 2010 Games and yourself in what the IOA want to achieve for India and for sport in India. In closing be assured that I will not do anything to hurt the Games," he said.

Australia had topped the medals tally in the 2006 Games with 84 golds and plans to send 550 athletes to New Delhi, which would make it the largest contingent.

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