Games set to soothe bruised sports fans
THE Gold Coast Commonwealth Games can help repair Australia's battered sporting reputation in the wake of the cricket ball tampering scandal, Aussie athletes and officials reckon.
The first wave of Australian athletes arriving for the Games touched down at Gold Coast Airport on Monday to be confronted with questions about the scandal's impact.
Australian Chef de Mission, marathon great Steve Moneghetti, said the Aussie team was 'focused on doing Australia proud'.
"There'll be some great stories about what Australians are doing in the way they represent their country - the way they conduct themselves and the sporting culture Australia represents here at the Games," he said.
"It's now incumbent upon them to take on that mantle and practice what we preach."
Moneghetti said the timing of the cricket scandal so close to the Games was 'out of our control'.
He said it presented an opportunity for Aussie athletes to 'do some great things for the sporting culture of Australia'.
"We're going to move on and perform as appropriately as Australian sports (people) should," Monegehetti said.
Aussie boxer Jason Whateley said the team was out to 'do Australia proud'.
"We're just going to go out there and do what Aussies do and give it our all," he said.
"We're just going to give it everything we can and do Australia proud."
Games chairman Peter Beattie said the Australian cricketers had 'damaged our reputation as a sporting nation'.
"But the Commonwealth Games will restore it," he said.
Mr Beattie said stringent drug testing at the Games would help restore Australia's battered reputation.