With officials aiming to tighten security as Sunday’s opening ceremony approaches, Australia’s gymnastics team was denied a chance to speak to the press after touching down at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi airport.


Despite having waited almost three hours for a delayed flight to speak to gold medal hopeful Lauren Mitchell, Australian journalists were told by police shortly before the arrival they would not be able to ask any questions.

It came despite reporters having arranged the interview and having earlier spoken to members of Australia’s bowls team at the same location on Monday morning.

“You will not speak to them, you will never speak to them,” one inspector told bemused reporters.

Despite the protests of Australian officials, the gymnasts were ordered straight to their waiting bus and were allowed only to wave and smile at the cameras.

It is believed reporters from other nations had also been denied access to athletes at the airport on Monday.

With a strong police presence, the hardline stance came despite Games authorities still being unable to secure the lockdown of Games venues, a process that has been delayed because finishing touches are still being applied.

The gymnasts were the second of a host of Australian squads due to arrive in the coming days as final preparations take shape for the event.

Australia’s netballers, women’s hockey team and track cyclists were among others arriving imminently to take up residence in the controversial athletes’ village.

Many nations, the latest being Pakistan, are concerned about the state of the village but Australian officials have remained diplomatic and confident the accommodation will not affect any athletes’ performances.