- Associated Press - Thursday, November 3, 2016

BERN, Switzerland (AP) - Switzerland has decided not to send athletes to the European Olympic Youth Festival in Turkey because of security concerns.

The Swiss Olympic committee says it is “too risky to send a delegation” to Erzurum, which is scheduled to host the biennial multi-sport event from Feb. 11-18.

The committee cites political tension in Turkey and “armed conflict in neighboring countries like Syria and Iraq.”

The Swiss foreign affairs ministry advises avoiding large crowds and traveling to eastern and southeastern Turkey.

A Swiss team of 40 athletes, aged 14 to 18, had planned to compete in Alpine and Nordic skiing, snowboard, figure skating and ice hockey, along with a similar number of support staff. The Swiss curling team withdrew several days ago.

Austria’s Olympic committee has also decided to skip the event.

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