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British Tennis Player Pulls Out Of CWG

London, Sep 26 : Fearing a dengue epidemic and worried about hygiene in Games village, Britain's number one female tennis player Elena Baltacha today pulled out of the crisis-hit Commonwealth Games. Ranked 50 in the
PTI September 26, 2010 10:29 IST
PTI
London, Sep 26 : Fearing a dengue epidemic and worried about hygiene in Games village, Britain's number one female tennis player Elena Baltacha today pulled out of the crisis-hit Commonwealth Games.

Ranked 50 in the world, Elena was a medal hope in New Delhi but fearing about disease the Scot decided to cancel her trip to India considering it would be too high a risk for her.

Elena said she saw the pictures of the filthy living conditions in the athletes' quarters and read the reports about the outbreak of Dengue fever and decided to skip the October 3-14 event yesterday.

"It's just the hygiene, the Dengue fever, all that kind of stuff," Baltacha was quoted as saying in 'Daily Telegraph'.

"It is a very high risk. But all the nations are still unhappy. Team Scotland are still pushing for things to be improved.

"We're talking about the Commonwealth Games, with athletes who are the best in the world, who have won gold at Olympics, who have competed at Olympics; it's a pretty serious event and you'd think that where you're meant to be staying, they would get that right, and they haven't. That's the most worrying thing, that's the thing we've seen and some of the stuff we've heard," she added.

Elena suffers from a genetic liver condition that has left her immune system compromised and the Scot tennis star said it would be too high a risk.

"If I didn't have a liver condition, of course I'd go. But the problem is that because it's immune-based, I am much more susceptible to picking things up, and that's why it's more of a risk for me."

Baltacha joins the list of growing athletes such as compatriot Andy Murray, Cyprus's Marcos Baghdatis and Australians Lleyton Hewitt and Samantha Stosur who pulled out of the Games.

The Commonwealth Games countries had criticised the hygiene of the Games Village and the CWF chief Mike Fennell is currently in Delhi to ensure that their concerns are heard and yesterday said 'considerable amount of work has been done' at the Games Village.

The Commonwealth Games had a disastrous build-up as after plagued by construction delays and corruption charges, it was rocked by a tourist attack, a footbridge collapse and a dengue outbreak. PTIĀ