Indian athletes have home advantage: Chef de Mission

Last Updated: Sep 08, 2010, 19:23 PM IST

New Delhi: Dismissing suggestions that Indian
athletes will lose out on home advantage due to construction
delays, India`s CWG Chef de Mission Bhubaneswar Kalita on Wednesday
said familiarity with the conditions still gives them an edge.

All the venues have been inaugurated but the overlays
work is yet to complete.

Rain gods have only added to woes of the organisers with
the capital experiencing a prolonged monsoon session, pushing
the deadlines further.

However, Kalita is full of optimism as the Games draw
closer.

"They are training here in India itself, if not at the
same stadium where the competition is going to take place.
They have been around the venues and they are familiar with
the conditions and environment as well as the climate here.
So, they would definitely have an edge over their opponents,"
Kalita told reporters.

"Players have been training very hard for almost three
years now. There have been a numerous trial games where they
have done very well. I am sure that we would win a lot of
medals this time around at the CWG," Kalita, also an IOA
vice-president, said.

The players from around the world would start pouring
into the Capital from September 18 but fears are growing that
dengue may play a spoilsport.

Kalita too is worried on this but said necessary
arrangements are being put in place to deal with the disease.

"In 14 days the Health Ministry has assured of clearing
everything to minimise the spread of the diseases."

Speaking on the recent spate of positive drug tests that
have hit the Indian players, Kalita claimed all the
federations were informed about the banned substances.

"All I can say is that the federations were given full
information on the list of banned substances. I don`t know why
players are pleading ignorance about the subject. But if they
are found guilty they would be severely punished."

Several of India`s CWG squad members including wrestlers,
swimmers and a shot-putter have tested positive for
WADA-banned methylhexaneamine in the last few days.

PTI