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SBD Global/February 5, 2014/Olympics

Austrian Olympic Committee Receives Letter Containing Threat To Kidnap Sochi Athletes

The Austrian Olympic Committee (ÖSC) "received a letter stating that two of its athletes would be kidnapped during the Sochi Winter Olympics," according to KRONE. The targets of the threats were skier Bernadette Schild and skeleton pilot Janine Flock. ÖSC General Secretary Peter Mennel said, "The letter was delivered into our mailbox on Monday. We have immediately alerted the Federal Criminal Agency, which is investigating the case." Initial reports suggested that Bernadette Schild's older sister Marlies "was the target of the threat." It has not been made clear yet how "it came to this mix-up" (KRONE, 4/2). The London GUARDIAN reported Mennel said that "he discussed the matter with Flock as they were sharing a flight from Vienna to Sochi on Tuesday." He added that "she is not worried, she trusts in our security measures." Mennel also said that Austrian athletes "will be accompanied by task force Cobra" -- a special counter-terrorism unit -- when they leave the Olympic Village (GUARDIAN, 2/4). The EFE reported Mennel said that "only four people knew about the anonymous letter and it has not been determined how the information was leaked to the press" (EFE, 2/4).
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