The Australian Olympic Committee has restricted its 60-member Winter Olympics team to travel on official Olympic transport between the Sochi venues and has advised them not to go outside security perimeters.
Today, team chef de mission Ian Chesterman outlined the new restrictions, which come after the AOC chose to follow advice from the country’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to exercise caution while in Sochi.
An AOC release says that Australian athletes have been limited to locations within the perimeters of the Olympic Park Precinct (Coastal Cluster), and the villages of Krasnaya Polyana, Esto-Sadok, and Rosa Khutor above the transport filter at Esto-Sadok. They will not be permitted to visit downtown Sochi or Adler.
“We know the International Olympic Committee has great confidence in the procedures and safety processes that have been put in place for these Games and we share that confidence,” Chesterman said in the release. “But we wanted to put some minor, but important, restrictions on our athlete movement during this period of time.”
He also added: “I don’t think it will detract from the experience because the highlights of these Games are the regions they can still go to. It’s where all the action will be.”
The travel restriction is the latest in a series of recent rulings by the AOC that include a partial ban on social media for their athletes in Sochi and the outlawing of intoxicated acts such as “swaying, staggering or falling down.”
The AOC had also set out earlier travel restrictions after a pair of suicide bombings killed 30 people in the Russian city of Volvograd in late December. Those involved making sure all of their athletes would travel to Sochi by air and that they would not train or compete elsewhere in Russia outside of Sochi.