No security guarantee for CGames athletes: Aussie chief

Following last November's terror attacks in Mumbai that left 172 dead and more than 300 injured, organisers have put in place extra resources to secure the October 3-14 Games.Yet the event is being clouded by a perception abroad that India is unsafe.

Australia pulled out of a Davis Cup tennis tie in the southern city of Chennai in May while England withdrew from the world badminton championships in Hyderabad in August, despite no specific terror threats against either event.

Australia and England are expected to be the main draws at next year's Games in the Indian capital. The Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) has met with representatives from each of the 18 competing sports, and none have yet said they plan to skip New Delhi, association chief Perry Crosswhite said.

Some of Australian sport's biggest names -- including swimmers Stephanie Rice and Leisel Jones, track and field stars Steve Hooker and Jana Rawlinson, cyclists Cadel Evans and Anna Meares and tennis players Lleyton Hewitt and Samantha Stosur - are in line to compete at the Games.

"We have said to all the sports that the decision on whether athletes go or not is their decision," Crosswhite said. "If some of them think it's not secure enough, they're going to make that decision .We can't guarantee anyone's safety. All we can say is we've checked it out and we think it's as safe and secure as it can be."

Commonwealth Games Federation chief Michael Fennell has recently expressed concern about delays in preparing for the Games. Crosswhite said it would become clearer how the Indians reacted to that criticism at a CGF Assembly in New Delhi in early October.

"They'll probably get some more people on board, throw some more resources at it, get the security right, get the venues finished," said Crosswhite. "It will be a fantastic opening ceremony, while behind the scenes there will be a lot things that happen at the last minute.

"The sports will go ahead, the technical officials will make sure that works, the broadcasters will muddle through and somehow technology will catch up. Everybody will go to it and have a pretty good time and go away and say they did it the Indian way and it was a success," he added.

"But overall maybe it won't be as good as Manchester (2002) or Melbourne (2006)."

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