Kitty Chiller, Australia's Chef de Mission for the Rio Olympics, has urged Brazilian authorities to deploy security forces ahead of schedule in the wake of the gunpoint attack on Australian Paralympian Liesl Tesch and a team official in Rio overnight.
Chiller was talking tough outside the Australian Olympic Committee's Sydney headquarters as she demanded the early deployment of the 100,000 strong security force (made up of police, armed forces and security professionals) earmarked for the Olympic Games which run from August 5 to August 21.
"The Rio organisers need to introduce the extra security precautions as soon as possible before an athlete gets hurt. We have written to them today asking them to address this issue," Chiller said in an official statement.
She used much tougher language than that at her press conference.
"We are demanding that the organising committee and the City review whether the [security measures] they have in place are sufficient."
The Huffington Post Australia asked Chiller what would happen if local authorities didn't accede to her demands.
"We can only do what we can do," she responded. "It's our responsibility and duty of care for athletes, for officials and for family and friends to do everything our power that it is a safe and secure environment for everyone."
Earlier this year, Chiller expressly banned Australian athletes from visiting Rio's notorious shantytowns known as "favelas". On Tuesday she reiterated that ban, and refused to rule out further movement restrictions and even curfews for the 750 Australian athletes and team officials who will be in Rio.
"We will certainly look on a day to day and hour to hour basis whether there will be no-go zones and areas of restrictions and even curfews," she said.
"This was not an isolated incident. Athletes have been mugged while training or competing in Rio test events and we want our athletes protected. I am sure the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) shares our view following this latest incident".
Chiller went on to reinforce the guidelines for anyone unfortunate enough experience an attack on their personal security in Rio.
"We have briefed our athletes leading into the Games. Basically we are saying that if you are confronted by criminals, comply, handover your belongings and don't argue. That is exactly what the two Paralympians did on Sunday.
"They were confronted by the men in broad daylight, it was 7.30 in the morning, and right near their accommodation. There were people around but no-one came to their assistance. This is a major concern and the only answer is for the authorities to put extra police and security on the ground now.
"Maybe the Organising Committee should mobilise their Gamestime defence force early. Do it now."Suggest a correction