US athletes cautioned on team gear outside Olympic venues
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States (US) Olympic Committee has advised athletes taking part in the upcoming Sochi Games to avoid wearing their uniforms or Team USA logos outside Olympic venues, the State Department said on Friday.
The warning for American athletes not to advertise their nationality due to security concerns came in a memo from the committee, which prepared it with the advice of the State Department, officials said, confirming a report in the Wall Street Journal.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said "the US Olympic Committee, I think, had discussed with its athletes, as part of how to sort of stay safe and things to look out for as part of the Games, this issue about ... just being careful about where you wear US logos or things like that".
She said that "we are in very close contact with the US Olympic Committee on issues related to security". But she added that Russia was not a unique case and that the government often provides similar advice for "big international events".