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Australian team robbed in Rio's Olympic village

By Shawn Price
Australian team robbed in Rio's Olympic village
Banners cover the decks of the Slovenia Olympic Team Friday at the Athletes Village in Rio de Janeiro. The Australian Olympic team was robbed during a fire evaucation, over the weekend, Austalian Olympic officials said Sunday. Theives made off with a laptop and several shirts the cycling team was going to use to protect them from the Zika virus. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 31 (UPI) -- A laptop and clothing were stolen from the Australian Olympic team during a fire evacuation in Rio de Janeiro, officials said.

A small fire about 4:40 a.m. Friday caused one of the buildings in the Olympic village where the Australian Olympic cycling team is housed to be evacuated. During the evacuation, the team was robbed of a laptop and several shirts specifically designed to protect against the Zika virus, the Australian Olympic Committee confirmed Sunday.

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The robbery is the latest embarrassment to Rio Olympic organizers and not the first problem the Australian team has had with their housing. The team refused to move in last weekend after finding dangerous wiring and blocked toilets in the building. The Australians only moved in Wednesday after maintenance workers repaired the problems.

Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller also condemned the housing over a lack of working fire alarms.

"What we have subsequently found is that the fire alarms had been silenced while they were carrying out maintenance on the building next door to ours," she said.

Australian officials said other technical equipment had been "rifled through" but was not stolen. Chiller didn't say if there was sensitive information on the laptop and didn't say how many shirts were missing but described them as yellow and long sleeved.

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Long sleeves have been recommended for all visitors coming for the Olympics due to the threat of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which has caused birth defects and some neurological problems in adults.

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