sport

Sochi bomb threat played down

Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak has played down the threat of "toothpaste bombs" to the Sochi Winter Olympics.

The build-up to the Games, which get underway on Thursday, have been blighted by security fears and there have been several terrorist attacks in recent weeks.

Two explosions in Volgograd in December killed 34 people and there have been further threats from Chechen separatists who are determined to disrupt Sochi 2014.

The latest plot, highlighted by the US Government, involves terrorists trying to place explosives disguised as toothpaste on Russia-bound flights - but Kozak insists the fact authorities are aware of it proves they are in control of the situation.

"If the info is confirmed it proves our special forces are working. We do however guarantee the safety of all at Sochi 2014," he told Sky Sports News.

"Terror fear is a global character and in any sport or place it has its nature. On Sochi it is a little too much - the level of fear should be lower.

"The threat level is no worse than for New York, Washington or Boston - we have no specific threat.

"We are working with western European countries and the US, based on the info we receive - there is no reason to believe Sochi is under anymore threat than any other city on the planet.

"We can guarantee the safety if people as far as any other government can."

British Olympic Association Chairman Lord Coe is also confident Team GB athletes will be safe at the Winter Olympics in Russia.

"We haven't been appraised of any situations," he said. "We've been in contact with all agencies and no overtures has been made to us about this"

Lord Coe's view was echoed by the BOA's Chief Executive Officer Bill Sweeney, who added: "the threat level has not changed".