Australian Olympic Committee calls for extra security measures in Rio

Australian Olympic officials Tuesday called on the organizers of the Rio Games to improve security after a Paralympic athlete and an official were robbed at gunpoint in the Brazilian city.

"The Rio organizers need to introduce the extra security precautions as soon as possible before an athlete gets hurt. We have written to them today asking them to address this issue," said Kitty Chiller, chef de mission of the Australian Olympic Team.

Security is one of the main concerns for organizers hosting the Olympics.

On Sunday, Australian Paralympic sailor Liesl Tesch and team official Sarah Ross were riding bikes in a park near their hotel in Rio de Janeiro when they were confronted by two men, one carrying a pistol, Australian Sailing said in a statement released late Monday.

Their bikes were stolen during the incident, the statement said, adding the members were unharmed but shaken.

The team competed in a race later in the day, the sailing association said, adding that investigations into the incident were ongoing.

"This is not an isolated incident. Athletes have been mugged while training or competing in RIO Test events and we want our athletes protected," Chiller said in the statement.

"I am sure the Australian Paralympic Committee shares our view following this latest incident."

The statement said the Organizing Committee in Rio had promised to mobilize a security force of 100,000 police, military and other personnel in time for the Olympic Games.

But Chiller said the organizers should mobilize the forces "now."

"We have briefed our athletes leading into the Games. Basically we are saying that if you are confronted by criminals, comply, hand over your belongings and don’t argue," Chiller said.

"The Paralympic sailors were confronted by the men in broad daylight, it was 7:30 in the morning, and right near their accommodation. There were people around but no one came to their assistance."

Last month, three members of Spain's Olympic sailing team were robbed at gunpoint in a popular tourist area in Rio de Janeiro.

Last update: Tue, 21/06/2016 - 10:42
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