American athletes attending the Sochi Winter Olympics have been told that their Team USA uniforms pose a potential security risk if worn outside designated security zones. Security is reported to be the tightest ever for any Olympics. It includes the "Ring of Steel" – a heavily fortified zone that stretches for 90 kilometres along the coast and 40 kilometres inland. There are checkpoints everywhere and everyone will be X-rayed as they enter the zone. A US State Department official advised that: "If you are an American Olympic athlete, you don't want to advertise that far outside the Olympic venues." It added: "Wearing conspicuous Team USA clothing in non-accredited areas may put your personal safety at greater risk."
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There are fears that the games may be targeted by militants from Russian states that want to break away from Russia. One group from Dagestan recently posted a video claiming responsibility for two suicide bombings in the southern city of Volgograd which killed 34 people and injured dozens more. President Vladimir Putin has given his personal assurance that the games will be safe and successful. Russian security officials are currently hunting for three potential female suicide bombers, one of whom is suspected to be in the Sochi area. US officials have warned there will be more threats to come as the time for the opening ceremony draws nearer. The games will be held between February 7 and 23.