Winter Olympics: BOA insists security of Team GB is its 'highest priority'

Last Updated: 17/01/14 12:37pm

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Sochi: Games scheduled to get underway on February 7

Sochi: Games scheduled to get underway on February 7

Sky Bet

The British Olympic Association insists the safety of its officials and competitors at the Winter Olympics remains its highest priority following the suicide bombings in Russia over the past 48 hours.

Russian authorities have ordered police to step up security at train stations and other facilities across the country after 14 people were killed on a bus on Monday in the southern city of Volgograd.

That attack came less than 24 hours after 17 people died in a suicide attack on the city's main train station prompting fears of similar attacks on the city of Sochi where the Games are scheduled to start on February 7.

Police authorities insist security at the Games, which will be held just 400 miles from Volgograd, will be the most stringent ever but the bombings have put the country on the highest state of alert.

The BOA is monitoring the situation closely and admits it is confident Russian officials 'will make the environment as safe as possible'.

In a statement, the governing body said: "We offer our deepest condolences to the people of Volgograd, who are dealing with the profound sense of shock and sorrow that follows a senseless act of violence.

"The past 48 hours have been extremely difficult for Volgograd, and our thoughts and prayers go out to our many friends throughout Russia.

"As with every Olympic Games - winter and summer - it is the responsibility of security officials at the national level, working in close coordination with regional and local authorities and the Games Organising Committee, to ensure that the environment is as safe and secure as possible.

"Throughout their planning for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Russian officials have indicated that security would be among the highest priorities, and everything we have seen in their planning would indicate this is the case.

"For the British Olympic Association, we have no higher priority than the safety and security of our delegation. This is the case for every Games in which we participate - Summer, Winter, Continental and Youth.

"We are monitoring the situation in Volgograd closely and remain in regular communication with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Met Police, the International Olympic Committee and other relevant bodies.

"We are also in communication with our National Governing Bodies, our winter-sport athletes and their families to make certain they have the very latest information.

"Our preparations for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games continue and we are confident the Russian officials will regularly assess the security measures that are in place to make certain the environment is as safe as possible.

"The attacks in Volgograd are a painful reminder of the threats that exist in our world today. They also, however, underscore and reinforce the importance of our world coming together in a spirit of peace for events such as the Olympic Winter Games."

The International Olympic Committee labelled the attacks on Volgograd 'despicable' while echoing the BOA's faith in the heightened security for Sochi.

In a statement IOC President Thomas Bach said: "This is a despicable attack on innocent people and the entire Olympic movement joins me in utterly condemning this cowardly act. Our thoughts are with the loved ones of the victims.

"I have personally written to the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, to express our condolences to the Russian people and our confidence in the Russian authorities to deliver safe and secure Games in Sochi.

"I am certain that everything will be done to ensure the security of the athletes and all the participants of the Olympic Games."

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