Baltacha among casualties

Ranked 50 in the world, Elena was a medal hope in New Delhi but the Scot decided to cancel her trip to India, saying she considered it too high a risk to take.

Baltacha said she saw pictures of the filthy living conditions in the athletes’ quarters and read reports about the outbreak of dengue fever, and decided to skip the October 3-14 event.

“It’s just the hygiene, the dengue fever, all that kind of stuff,” Baltacha was quoted as saying in Daily Telegraph. “It is a very high risk. But all the nations are still unhappy. Team Scotland are still pushing for things to be improved.

“We’re talking about the Commonwealth Games, with athletes who are the best in the world, who have won gold at Olympics, who have competed at Olympics; it’s a pretty serious event and you’d think that where you’re meant to be staying, they would get that right, and they haven’t. That’s the most worrying thing, that’s the thing we’ve seen and some of the stuff we’ve heard,” she added.

Baltacha suffers from a genetic liver condition that has left her immune system compromised. “If I didn’t have a liver condition, of course I’d go. But the problem is that because it’s immune-based, I am much more susceptible to picking things up, and that’s why it’s more of a risk for me.”

Meyer, Sang cry off
Further, Australian cyclist Travis Meyer and table tennis player Stephanie Sang joined the growing list of athletes pulling out, citing security and health concerns, adds PTI from Melbourne.

The withdrawals by Meyer and Sang came on the back of discus world champion Dani Samuels’ decision to skip the Games last week.

Australian Commonwealth Games chief Perry Crosswhite dubbed the pull-outs as disappointing.

“I am disappointed on the basis that these Games will be a good experience particularly for all the athletes who come to it and of course we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t think the security wasn’t being organised well and at the level it should be,” Crosswhite was quoted as saying by the Australian Associated Press.

Crosswhite said the recently-married Sang pulled out because of security fears, and a replacement for her on the team was being sought.

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