(dpa) - Olympic organizers Tuesday appeared to countermand Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd with a declaration that Chinese military personnel would be guarding the Olympic torch in Canberra later this month.
"The security people from China - they call themselves the torch protectors - will be there, but they'll be in a bus behind the event, and will only be called upon if there was really serious trouble," International Olympic Committee (IOC) deputy president Kevan Gosper said.
Gosper, Australia's most senior IOC official, said the torch protectors would not get off the bus unless Australian security officials decide they needed assistance.
"I don't think it's in the Chinese interest, nor would the Chinese want to be involved in, a fracas that calls upon them to get in amongst the local authorities in any country unless those local authorities were overwhelmed," he said.
Speaking in China last week, Rudd said the blue-suited guards, dubbed "thugs" by London Olympic boss Sebastian Coe after violent scenes in the British capital, would not be allowed to provide security in Canberra on April 24.
Gosper caused outrage last week for denouncing those who demonstrated in London, Paris and San Francisco when the torch passed.
"The protestors just take their hate out on whatever the issues are at the time, and that hate against the host country is being taken out on our torch," the former Olympian middle-distance runner said. "They are just filled with resentment and hate."