We are committed to Games: Aus boss Crosswhite

Australian Commonwealth Games Association chief expressed his country`s commitment towards participating in next month`s Commonwealth Games.

Last Updated: Sep 22, 2010, 18:20 PM IST

Melbourne: Australian Commonwealth Games
Association chief on Wednesday expressed his country`s commitment
towards participating in next month`s Commonwealth Games
despite several athletes planning to withdraw following series
of snags that has hit the mega event.

The Association chief executive Perry Crosswhite said
abandoning the Games had not been discussed by his nation.

"No, not at all. I think you have to be very careful to
make that kind of decision because what you are essentially
doing is making decision on behalf of 400 athletes," he said.

"The reality is, they are the ones the Games are for and
in some respects they are the ones that have to make the
decision about whether they want to come here or not. You
certainly are in a situation where health and safety and all
those issues need to be met," Crosswhite was quoted as saying
by Australian Associated Press.

"But if they are - and they are - of an acceptable
standard, then the Games are for the athletes and they are the
ones that should come along and make those decisions. They can
have their views and all the rest of it, but I don`t think we
certainly have the right to make their decision unless it`s
based on something that we are trying to protect them from a
security or health issue," he added.

Crosswhite said he had spoken spoke to Australian
officials from 17 sports at the Games and no other athletes
had indicated any plans to withdraw.

"None of them (Australian officials) said to me that they
had any issues in respect of athletes advising them that they
had similar concerns to Dani Samuels," Crosswhite said.

"All athletes, particularly with what they see in the
media in Australia, they have every right to be concerned
because they don`t see any of the better side of it which they
will certainly see when they get here - but they`re not here
yet," he said.

The ACGA boss said "Australia`s accommodation at Athletes
Village was acceptable" though he acknowledged displeasure of
other nations with their facilities in separate blocks.

"Some people have let themselves down, it might have been
the developers of the village. There are things that need to
be corrected. I`m comfortable as long as the hard work that
has started now is maintained and probably increases.”

"There are a number of defects that need to be fixed, but
it`s not like buildings are going to fall down or anything. We
are in three tower blocks and in the apartments, a few of
those had things that needed to be fixed and they are being
fixed now," he said.

Crosswhite said heavy security around the village was an
issue -- not for any lack of safety, but for expediency.

"The security, which is really tight, needs to be bedded
down to some extent. It`s friendly, but it`s just massive and
it needs to be more, I guess the word would be, more efficient
letting people through, in an out.”

"Because when you get large numbers here, it is going to
be a hassle if it doesn`t get fixed."

PTI