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Russian officials outline security measures for Sochi Olympics

October 02, 2013|By David Wharton
  • Scott Blackmun, chief executive of the U.S. Olympic Committee, speaks with reporters.
Scott Blackmun, chief executive of the U.S. Olympic Committee, speaks… (Rick Bowmer / Associated…)

PARK CITY, Utah -- Meeting with reporters here earlier this week, U.S. Olympic officials said they are keeping a careful eye on security at the upcoming 2014 Sochi Games.

On Wednesday, Russian officials offered more details about what they will do to safeguard the competition, announcing a plan to limit public demonstrations and access to territories around the Black Sea resort.

The restrictive measures are to begin in early January and continue through March, bookending the Games, which are to run Feb. 7-23.

"There will be so-called controlled and forbidden zones in and around Sochi," security official Alexei Lavrishchev told the Ria Novosti news service.

In July, a Chechen rebel leader encouraged Islamist militants in the contentious northern Caucasus to target the Olympics.

Lavrishchev said visitors to the area will be required to show an ID and tickets to enter controlled zones. Forbidden zones will be open only to people working with the Olympics.

Safety and terrorist threats are always a concern when U.S. athletes compete on foreign soil, USOC Chief Scott Blackmun said.

"We can’t bring our own security forces. We always rely on local security," he said. "We are looking very hard at security this time, but the truth is, we do that every time we travel."


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