Dawn calls for Oz pullout from Delhi Games
Jaipur: Legendary Australian swimmer Dawn Fraser returned back to her anti-India tactics yet again as the 73-year on Thursday urged the athletes from her nation to skip the forthcoming Commonwealth Games to be held in New Delhi.
Fraser has always been known for her anti-India stand and never supported the idea of India being awarded the Commonwealth Games.
On Thursday, however, the winner of eight Olympic medals went a step forward to establish her argument and urged the Australian athletes to boycott the Delhi Games, citing security as an issue. “I would hate to see another Munich but, with things getting worse and worse, I have grave concerns,” Fraser was quoted as saying by Australian newspapers.
Fraser referred to the 1972 Munich Olympics, where terrorists stormed into the Games village and massacred 11 Israeli athletes and officials.
Fraser’s comments are always blown out of proportion by the media at her homeland as earlier she had also threatened to boycott the Beijing, Athens and Atlanta Olympic Games.
Taken aback by her comments, a perturbed Australian Commonwealth Games Association immediately jumped in for damage control.
“I don’t think Dawn’s been to Delhi recently and I don’t think she has the information we have, if she did I don’t think she would have made the comments she did,” ACGA chief executive Perry Crosswhite was quoted as saying.
“If security is not at the highest acceptable levels Australia won’t be going. To suggest otherwise is to accuse us of being irresponsible and we are not,” he added.
In his recent visit to India, Crosswhite had expressed satisfaction with the security measures taken for the Commonwealth Games.
Fraser used the recent revelations of corruption and the delays in getting the infrastructure in place, as reason to support her stance. “They (India) can’t get a hockey venue right, yet they are still expecting everyone to trust them and turn up when they say it’s all going to be OK,” she said.
Fraser was supported by another former Australian athlete Raelene Boyle, who was present at the Munich Games during the massacre. “Regarding security, it certainly provides a precarious situation, so it’s really up to individuals whether they go,” Boyle, a double Olympic silver medallist, told the paper.