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Warning for US athletes to Sochi Olympics

Sunday, January 26, 2014

WASHINGTON - US athletes have been cautioned about wearing their team uniforms outside the Olympic village in Sochi, the State Department confirmed yesterday.

The red, white and blue jackets that the US team will wear at the opening ceremony on February 7 include a large US flag on the right breast and large stars and stripes on the right sleeve.

The US Olympic Committee discussed the uniforms with its athletes in giving them guidance on how to stay safe, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

"This isn't unique to Russia," Harf said.

"We generally give this kind of guidance around big international events, particularly if there is some kind of threat like we've seen here."

The State Department encourages people in many places around the world "to keep a low profile, particularly if there's a security risk," she said.

The message to athletes was "based on discussions with the State Department" but it was the US Olympic Committee that delivered the advice about clothing to the athletes, Harf said.

Security is expected to be high at the Sochi Olympics after several recent suicide bombings.

Harf said she could not confirm a report that Russia had requested equipment to help with security.

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