Australian officials have reiterated their commitment to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in an attempt to quell speculation over the future of the event.
With a number of nations – notably Scotland and New Zealand – raising concerns over the facilities in India, Australian Commonwealth Games association chief executive Perry Crosswhite said there had been no talk of quitting.
He added: “I think you have to be very careful to make that kind of decision because what you are essentially doing is making that decision on behalf of 400 athletes.
“You certainly are in a situation where health and safety and all those issues need to be met. 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.”
The views were echoed by Australia’s butterfly swimming star Geoff Huegill.
“We have all got our mosquito nets and we are all going to be packing our pillows,” he said.
“I think we have to remember, while we are used to staying in some pretty nice, high-rise places, India is still classed as a third-world country.
“So to them what might seem really adequate might not be as adequate or at the level we think so I think for us as athletes, we don’t want to show any disrespect to them.”
Preparations for the games have been dogged by corruption, poor construction, an outbreak of dengue fever, security concerns and political infighting.
A section of the wrestling arena roof collapsed earlier this week, while athletes have made concerns about accommodation plain.
However, competing nations are starting to get behind the games, with the first batch of 22 English athletes due to arrive in Delhi today as planned.
Chairman of Commonwealth Games England, Andrew Foster, explained: “We believe it is just about do-able if they [India] throw lots of resources at it and remain very focused.”
Canada also confirmed it has no intention of withdrawing.
“There are no discussions that we are not participating and no discussions at any level of pulling out or not attending,” confirmed Canadian sports minister, Gary Lunn.
“We want to support our athletes and cheer them on.”
The Commonwealth Games opening ceremony is scheduled for October 3rd.