The Government and the National Olympic Committee of Solomon Islands deplore in the strongest terms allegations of harassment to a local athlete at the South Pacific Games in Samoa.

President of the National Olympic Committee of Solomon Islands, Charles Dausabea, assured a press conference that an indecent proposal to one of the Solomon Islands' female athlete, weightlifter, Wendy Hale, will be fully investigated.

It has been alleged that Ms. Hale was offered an indecent proposal by the Member of Parliament for Ulawa-Ugi, James Tora, who traveled as the Team Manager of the Solomon Islands' contingent to the games.

In a radio interview with the national broadcaster SIBC, Ms. Hale accused the team leader, Mr. Tora, of harassment, which she said distracted her from performing her best in Samoa.

Mr. Dausabea said that the matter will be investigated by an independent committee, consisting of members from church groups, government representatives, women, lawyers and representatives from other stakeholders, on whose result appropriate laws will take its course.

"My only regret is I haven't been informed about the matter when I was there. Had I been informed, I would have taken appropriate measures to repatriate him. We do not go there as members of Parliament but as sports officials and ambassadors of Solomon Islands. Therefore, such incident is totally unaccepted," Mr. Dausabea said.

He said the Prime Minister, who is currently in Rennell Island attending the opening of the Premiers' Conference, will be informed on the issue when he returns tomorrow.