March 21 - Double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes (pictured) has hit out athletes who have withdrawn from this year's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, including world heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis, and specially those who have expressed concerns over competing because of security concerns.

Dame Kelly, the 2004 Olympic 800 and 1500 metres champion now the President of Commonwealth Games England, claimed she is upset that so many of the country's potential medal winners have said that they do not plan to to take part because it does not fit in with their schedules.

But she is particularly annoyed at athletes who claim they fear that they could be the target for a terror attack.

Writing in her regular column in the Medway News, she said: "I’m disappointed to say that hasn’t abated and for some reason a few athletes have said they don’t want to compete because of security concerns.

"We have a security team out in Delhi that are giving us regular reports and we haven’t had one single report to suggest that we should be pulling out at this stage."

The Daily Telegraph claimed last December that England were on the verge of withdrawing from the Commonwealth Games because the Foreign Office had warned them of the dangers of competing.

Dame Kelly claimed that they have never received such warning and last week Craig Hunter, England's Chef de Mission, announced after a visit to New Delhi that they will send a full team of more than 550 to the Games, which are due to open on October 3.

She wrote: "As far as we are concerned the Games are going ahead and we will be sending an England team out there.

"It’s only if our security guys come back and tell us that there is a genuine threat to our athletes then that would of course be a reason to pull out, but there has been nothing coming back to suggest that.

"It would become a political issue if we pulled out and it would have an effect on us as a nation for the 2012 Olympic Games."

Dame Kelly competed in three consecutive Commonwealth Games, winning the gold medal in the 1500m at Victoria in 1994 and Manchester in 2002 and claiming the silver in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.

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March 2010:
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February 2010: England trying to shrug off Delhi security concerns
February 2010: Metropolitan Police insist England in no danger in Delhi
January 2010: Delhi is safe for Commonwealth Games claim Met Police
January 2010: Fennell hits out at critics and promises Delhi will be safe for Games