Opening ceremonies India gatecrasher 'no security risk'

Olympics organisers Sunday blamed an "over-excited" cast member for gatecrashing India's athletes' march at the opening ceremony, denying she was a security risk.

The appearance of the mysterious woman, smiling and wearing a red top, next to India's flag-bearer Sushil Kumar at Friday's ceremony caused consternation among the delegation, who demanded an explanation.

Games chief Sebastian Coe said he would speak to the Indian team about the embarrassing incident, beamed live to more than one billion TV viewers worldwide.

But he said the woman, reportedly a student from Bangalore, was one of 7,500 volunteers taking part in the opening ceremony, and was unlikely to pose a risk to security.

"She was a cast member. Clearly she got slightly over-excited. We had in fairness suspected that she was probably and possibly a member of the cast," said Coe.

"She shouldn't have entered, she shouldn't have been there but she clearly started in that vein and yes, I will be speaking to the Indian delegation about it."

India's acting chef de mission Muralidharan Raja slammed the intrusion, but stopped short of calling it a security breach even though the woman was not wearing the customary identification badge.

"She had no business being there. It was a clear case of intrusion," Raja was quoted as saying by the Times of India.

"I can't say that (if it was a security breach) as she was in a sanitised zone, but this was bizarre. We will ask for an apology," he added.

"She embarrassed us in front of the world. The Indian contingent was shown (on television) for just 10 seconds, and to think this lady hogged all the limelight."

India has fielded its largest Olympic contingent of 81 athletes with hopes of bettering its Beijing Games tally of one gold and two bronze medals.

"She couldn't have got in to the opening ceremony without having gone through all our security protocols," said Coe.

"She shouldn't have been in the opening ceremony but don't run away with the idea that she sort of walked in off the street."

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