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    Coates: India should not have Commonwealth Games


    by ODN


    The Commonwealth Games should never have been awarded to India, Australia's Olympic chief has said, as more top athletes pulled out of the event plagued by filthy accommodation, shoddy construction and security fears.

    "I don't think it is a cultural thing. When you agree to host (a Games) you are required to provide the basics in terms of health and hygiene for the athletes," Australia Olympic Committee president John Coates said.

    "The Games shouldn't have been awarded to Delhi in hindsight."

    As athletes begin arriving in Deli, authorities are still working on completing Games venues, forcing some teams to take up temporary accommodation at hotels.

    Cyclist Greg Henderson earlier on Friday became the first New Zealand athlete to withdraw over concerns about health and security.

    Olympic cycling champion Geraint Thomas and three other Welsh riders also opted out of the Games, due to start on October 3.

    India had hoped to use the Games to display its growing global economic and political influence, rivalling China.

    Instead, they have become a major embarrassment for the government, which is trying to fend off criticism of poor construction, inadequate security and dirty accommodation.