Pakistani sports officials rubbished claims by a British newspaper to have uncovered a visa scam that could have allowed potential terrorists into the Olympic Village.
The Sun tabloid said it had busted a racket involving a politician in Lahore that could have given access to the London Games as part of the Pakistani contingent in return for Rs1million. Pakistan’s Olympic chef de mission Aqil Shah dismissed the claims.
“These are baseless reports,” said Shah. “This is an attempt to malign Pakistan. Even if someone gets a passport he cannot enter the Olympic Village without an Olympic accreditation card. Hockey has at least six officials which are under the rules and then we have physicians and other coaches who are genuine members of Pakistan’s contingent.”
Pakistan Olympic Association chief Arif Hasan was already in London and discussing the matter with the Pakistan High Commission, added Shah.
Never believed I’d get here: Chambers
Controversial British sprinter Dwain Chambers said he feels like a gold medal-winner already as he prepares to return to Olympics despite an earlier drug ban.
The 34-year-old 100m runner said it was a ‘dream come true’ to compete in London, after being fitted for his Games kit at the British athletics team’s base in central England.
“It has been a long time since the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000 and I have always said I never believed I would get here,” said Chambers. “Today has just been a dream come true for me. A goal was to get here, but that wasn’t a goal open to me. Just to be in the atmosphere of the Games in London is absolutely fantastic. To be able to go out there in front of a home crowd and experience that Olympic atmosphere to me is like a gold medal to me.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2012.
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