Sydney, Apr.9 : Australian Olympic legend Dawn Fraser has said that she will not attend the Beijing Games in August.
It will be only the second Olympic Games the four-times gold medallist has not attended since making her Olympic debut in Melbourne, in 1956.
Fraser missed the 2004 Athens Olympics after a spat with the Australian Olympic Committee in which she claimed it had failed to invite her to the event, a charge the committee later denied.
"As a spectator, I am making my own statement by not going. I support the Tibetans I don't support the violence that the protesters are creating. It's a shame it's taken place during the torch relay but I don't think it will dampen the Olympic spirit at all. China should also never have been awarded the right to host the Games on account of their human rights record, she told the AAP news agency.
The future of the international Olympic torch relay is now in doubt after pro-Tibetan demonstrators shadowed the Olympic torch relay as it progressed through Europe, violently clashing with police and officials on the streets of London and Paris this week.
Fellow former Olympic swimmer Susie O'Neill has also spoken out over the torch controversy, saying the relay had been hijacked by protesters and should be scrapped.
The torch relay will continue in San Francisco tomorrow.
Story first published: Wednesday, April 9, 2008, 13:06 [IST]
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