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Rediff.com  » Sports » CWG: Oz Sports Minister warns about more athletes pulling out

CWG: Oz Sports Minister warns about more athletes pulling out

September 22, 2010 11:08 IST

More Australian athletes can pull out from the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games over safety fears and a bridge collapse that has raised concerns about the event.

Australian Sports Minister Mark Arbib said Games officials expected more competitors to follow women's world discus champion Dani Samuels.

Citing concerns over health and security in Delhi, Australian discus thrower Dani Samuels, who claimed gold in the discus at last year's world championships in Berlin, had withdrawn from the country's Commonwealth Games team.

Arbib said Australia's Games chief Perry Crosswhite was expecting further pullouts in a blow to Games organisers' hopes that athletic prowess could overcome controversies including corruption and a filthy athletes village.

"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, adding Australia would restrict athletes' visits to public places.

Australia this week warned of a "high risk of terrorism" during the Games after unknown gunmen on a motorbike sprayed a tourist bus with pistol fire, wounding two Taiwanese holidaymakers on Sunday, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

On Tuesday, the Commonwealth Games Federation blasted the official athletes' accommodation as uninhabitable with rubble in doorways and malfunctioning toilets, along with urgent electrical problems.

Thousands of workers have been working round the clock to finish sports facilities and the athletes' village, as well as to clear up piles of building rubble that still litter large parts of Delhi.

Source: ANI