Thursday, 24. April 2014
05. 02. 14. - 13:00
The Austrian Olympic committee will consider upping security if the threats against two of their skiers received on the day before Sochi Winter Games prove to be serious.
The letters threatening kidnapping are thought to be directed at Alpine skier Bernadette Schild and skeleton racer Janine Flock, although this has not been confirmed by the committee.
The source of the letters is unknown but militant Islamist groups have previously warned of protest attacks against Russia at the games.
The letters follow similar threatening messages sent last month to delegations from five countries, including Italy, Germany and Hungary, which were analysed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as presenting no real danger.
The content and origin of the letters sent to the Austrian athletes are currently being analysed by the country's national counter-terrorism agency.
Commenting on the letters, general secretary of Austria's Olympic Committee Peter Mennel said: "We informed the minister of internal affairs and Austria's police...there is no actual threat at the moment.
"We have two security people here and if the threat is confirmed we will give additional security to the athletes."
The IOC has also tried to alleviate any fears by reassuring athletes and spectators that they will be safe at Sochi, although the president highlighted that most big events attract this kind of attention.
"Every big event nowadays is under threat," said IOC president Thomas Bach. "We have to address this. The alternative would be to surrender to terrorists."
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