Australia has warned any athletes who overstay their visas during April’s Commonwealth Games will be dealt with firmly.

“Australia’s reputation of being tough on border security and cancelling visas of people who don’t abide by Australian laws won’t be compromised,” said Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.

“Visitors are expected to abide the conditions of their visa and there are penalties for those who do the wrong thing.”

Australia has long struggled with athletes attempting to stay in the country.

In 2000 it hosted the Summer Olympics and in 2006 the Commonwealth Games, which resulted in multiple overstays and asylum requests.

After the 2006 Commonwealth Games, 45 athletes from countries including Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Bangladesh attempted to stay in the country.

Australia has tough immigration laws that have resulted in hundreds of people being detained in remote island camps, where reports of suicide, abuse and ill-treatment are widespread.

It is not known how many athletes might try to stay this year, but the games – which run from 4 April to 15 April – are expected to bring thousands of people to Australia.