Two Austrian athletes threatened with kidnap

Austria's Marlies Schild competes in a World Cup slalom race in Bormio, Italy, on January 5, 2014

Two Austrian athletes taking part in the Winter Olympics have been threatened with kidnap, the country's interior ministry said Tuesday, with local media citing ski star Marlies Schild and Janine Flock as the targets.

"An anonymous letter was received by the Austrian Olympic Committee (AOC) containing threats against two Austrian athletes. Police are investigating," Karl-Heinz Grundbock, a spokesman for the ministry told AFP.

Austrian news agency APA and the Kronen Zeitung newspaper both said that alpine skier Marlies Schild and skeleton competitor Janine Flock were the intended targets.

Four Austrian police officers, including two members of the country's special forces, are already in Sochi, the Russian venue for the Olympics, which open on Friday.

"This is a routine measure," said Grundbock, which is aimed at smoothing coordination between the Austrian delegation and Russian security forces.

Austria has sent a 130-strong delegation to Sochi.