21 May, 2004
"Athletes staying somewhere else other than the Olympic Village will not have the same level of security as those staying in the Olympic Village under the protection provided by the Greek government," International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said after an IOC Executive Board meeting held in Lausanne on Thursday.
"We cannot require the Greeks to surround every hotel room with armed guards. That is impossible. Athletes staying outside the Olympic Village must realize that they are doing so at their own risk," he said.
However, the National Olympic Committees are free to bring their own security team as was done in previous Olympiads. "It's not a new practice, it's been done in the past," Rogge explained. But, the Greek government will decide whether it will allow foreign security teams escorting athletes to carry weapons.
According to Larry Bedford, head of the US Olympic Committee's security division, the US athletes coming to Athens for the Olympics will be escorted by 300 support staff and 100 federal agents.
Source: Athens News Agency