Rio 2016: Australian athletes banned from beaches after dark


Australia's athletes have been banned from two of Rio de Janeiro's popular beaches after dark due to security concerns.

American six-time Olympic gold medallist Ryan Lochte was confirmed to have been held up at gunpoint on Sunday, while two Australian rowing coaches were robbed at knifepoint shortly after the Games' opening ceremony.

Australia's team chef de mission Kitty Chiller said athletes had been told not to go to Copacabana and Ipanema beaches between 18:00 and 06:00 local time.

"We've put now the Copa and Ipanema beaches... the actual beach, the sand, off limits. There has been a lot of increased petty criminal - but criminal - activity on the actual beaches," she told a news conference.

"We're also highly encouraging our athletes [to go elsewhere]. We've found a couple of areas in Barra to go to rather than travelling into town because the Copa-Ipanema downtown area seems to be where most of the unsavoury activity is happening."

Australia had previously told athletes they had to travel in groups of three, while any travel after 18:00 local time must now be by vehicle - even for short distances.

Chiller said: "Obviously safety and security has always been the primary concern for all our athletes and all our team members.

"We've introduced some further security and safety protocols for those people travelling especially to Copa and Ipanema area to ensure above all else we retain all our team members safely and securely."