Sochi threat email is a 'hoax'

Hungary's Olympic Committee had received an email in Russian and English threatening its athletes at Sochi 2014.

    The IOC has downplayed the severity of the threats received by the Hungarian officials [Reuters]
    The IOC has downplayed the severity of the threats received by the Hungarian officials [Reuters]

    An email in Russian and English threatening national Olympic delegations and athletes with terrorist attacks at the Sochi Winter Games is a hoax, not a real danger, officials said.

    Hungarian sports officials, who first reported the email, said they have received assurances from the International Olympic Committee and the Sochi organisers that the email had no merit.

    In light of that, the Hungarian Olympic Committee said it will still take part in the Winter Games, which run from February 7-23.

    Olympic committees from several other European countries, including Germany, Britain and Austria, said they had also received a similar message.

    'Seen it before'

    Wolfgang Eichler, spokesman for the Austrian National Olympic Committee, said the email was a hoax that officials had seen before.

    "It's a fake mail from a sender in Israel, who has been active with various threats for a few years,'' Eichler told Austrian news agency APA. "It's been checked out because it also arrived two years ago.''

    The IOC repeated its stance that it 'takes security very seriously'.

    "(We will) pass on any credible information to the relevant security services," the IOC said in a statement. "However, in this case it seems like the email sent to the Hungarian Olympic Committee contains no threat and appears to be a random message from a member of the public."

    Security is a major concern at all Olympics but especially in Sochi, which is in southern Russia just a few hundred miles (kilometers) away a simmering Islamic insurgency in the North Caucasus. One Islamic militant warlord has urged his followers to attack the Sochi Olympics, Russian President Vladimir Putin's pet project.



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