Commonwealth Games organisers under fire over athlete accommodation

Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010 logo

New Delhi's preparations for next months' Commonwealth Games hit new problems after the home nations warned that the poor quality of the athlete's village may put the whole event in doubt.

Scottish officials claim that the building they were originally allocated was "unsafe and unfit for human habitation".

They were then moved to a seven-storey building that had to be cleaned from top to bottom with assistance from Delhi Games volunteers.

There were even reports that labourers had defecated in some of the flats.

England are "optimistic" that the necessary work will be complete before the Games begin on October 3 but chef de mission Craigh Hunter said; "there is a lot still to be done in the village and this needs to be done with some urgency."

The village is due to be officially opened to 7,000 athletes and officials on Thursday.

Commonwealth Games Federation President Mike Fennell has written to the Indian government expressing his concern.

He said: "Many issues remain unresolved. The Village is the cornerstone of any Games and the athletes deserve the best possible environment to prepare for their competition."

Northern Ireland have lined up alternative accommodation for their athletes, including Michael Hutchinson and Wendy Houvenagel, in case their scheduled accommodation is not ready.

Delhi organisers had originally claimed that the facilities would be better than the athletes village at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing but the criticisms only compound problems for organisers after a shooting incident on a tourist bus at the weekend.

Commonwealth gold medallist Mark Cavendish is due to compete for the Isle of Man at the Games while David Millar rides both the individual time trial and road race for Scotland. Geraint Thomas and Nicole Cooke compete for Wales with Emma Pooley and Lizzie Armitstead both in action for England.

Olympic gold medallists Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton withdrew from the Games preferring to focus on November's European Track Championships in Poland.

The Games take place between October 3-14.

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