India to investigate Commonwealth Games problems

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The Independent Online

India's government has ordered a probe into the construction delays and corruption allegations that blighted the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games.

Harish Khare, the prime minister's media adviser, said the inquiry committee would be headed by V.K. Shunglu, a former auditor-general, and will submit its findings within three months.

The committee will "look into all matters relating to organizing and conduct of the Commonwealth Games, including to draw lessons from it," said Khare in a statement issued late yesterday.

Many countries considered withdrawing from the New Delhi games following construction delays which meant most venues weren't ready for test events and shocked some delegates who discovered filthy conditions in the athletes' village only days before the first athletes were due.

Many high-profile athletes didn't participate in the games, with some citing concerns over security and health standards that arose in the buildup to the opening on October 3.

A last-minute blitz by India's prime minister and New Delhi's Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit saw the games start as scheduled and completed on Thursday without any major problems.

India finished second on the medal standings behind Australia, overhauling England for No. 2 spot on the final day of competition and winning more medals than ever. Australia won 74 gold medals, India 38 and England 37.