Schumer Calls on Russia to Let U.S. Athletes Have Their Chobani Yogurt - NBC4 Washington
Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

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Schumer Calls on Russia to Let U.S. Athletes Have Their Chobani Yogurt

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    A shipment of Chobani Greek Yogurt is sitting at Newark Liberty International Airport because of a customs issue.

    Alpine skiers arriving at the Olympics are amazed by the lift facilities at the Rosa Khutor resort. And they say the security isn't nearly as much of a bother as they expected.

    One of the only complaints so far is that there isn't much in the way of training slopes. And one major food item is missing at breakfast in the athletes village.

    "There is no yogurt," said Aksel Lund Svindal, the Norwegian who won a medal of each color at the 2010 Vancouver Games. "And that's kind of my go-to thing every morning — muesli and natural yogurt — so I don't get too much sugar. That seems to be a hard thing to track down."

    American athletes are especially hard-hit as customs is holding a shipment of Sochi-bound Chobani Greek Yogurt at Newark Liberty International Airport because of an "unreasonable customs certificate," according to Sen. Charles E. Schumer, who got involved because the yogurt-maker is headquartered in upstate New York.

    "Not only is this nutritious food only intended for U.S. citizens, but our own food safety experts, the U.S Department of Agriculture, is willing to back the food's contents, so there is no acceptable holdup in getting this food to our athletes and ensuring that Chobani does not miss out on a critical investment," Schumer said in a statement on Tuesday.

    Schumer sent a letter to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and the International Olympic Committee head Thomas Bach calling for a resolution for the customs issue.

    “I understand the need for high food safety standards for dairy products," Schumer said in the letter. "However, the U.S. government has confirmed that sanitary standards have been met to ensure that this yogurt will be safe for consumption by American Citizens attending and participating in the 2014 Winter Olympics."