'Christie has support she needs'

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Elise Christie has received threatening comments on social media Elise Christie has received threatening comments on social media

Short track speed skater Elise Christie has "had the support she needs" from Team GB over the cyber abuse which led to her deleting her Twitter account, according to the International Olympic Committee.

Christie revealed on Saturday after failing to finish her 1500 metres heat that she had received threatening messages on social media in the wake of her disqualification from the 500m final on Thursday.

When asked about the matter at the daily IOC/Sochi 2014 briefing on Sunday, IOC spokesman Mark Adams - flanked by Jamie Fox, from the Sochi 2014 communications department - said: "I know that (social media) is something the British team have talked to their athletes about.

"We have Jamie here and part of his job is to look over that.

"Social media is just kind of like the rest of life but more magnified, and I think, clearly, people have to be careful.

"I don't know this particular case - I have read about it, but I don't want to comment too much on the abuse and so on and so forth.

"But, clearly, she has had the support she needs and I don't think there is any kind of major damage done."

Fox added: "Unfortunately, it is part and parcel of what social media is.

"It is a problem that both Twitter and organisations are working against and I know that the advice is solid in the Team GB camp."

Meanwhile, the IOC has played down any suggestion that the course Russian freestyle skier Maria Komissarova was training on when she suffered a fractured and dislocated spine is problematic.

The Russian Freestyle Federation said Komissarova had undergone a successful six-and-half-hour operation following the incident, which occurred on Saturday during a practice session at the PSX Olympic ski-cross venue in Rosa Khutor Extreme Park for next week's ski-cross event.

Adams said: "I understand that she was actually in training by herself when the accident happened.

"We don't have too many more details. I'm not sure it is actually the format or the course that is necessarily the problem.

"As we constantly say, the health and safety of the athletes is our number one priority, as it is for the federation.

"The medical commission of the IOC actually collects and monitors data on illness and injuries and what I can tell you is that, with regard to prevention strategies and so on, at this stage we don't see anything abnormal compared to, for example, Vancouver (the 2010 Winter Olympics) in terms of accidents and injuries.

"That is in no way to minimise the accident yesterday - it was a serious one and obviously our thoughts go out to her and we wish her a quick recovery.

"But in terms of the level of monitoring that we have done, we don't have any different data than we have had from previous Games as far as I understand."

Komissarova was visited in hospital by Russia president Vladimir Putin on Saturday.

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