“Sochi pledges, in its bid book, excellent working conditions for the media at the games. It also promises the media an open dialogue with the Organising Committee, so that your needs are met, in their words, ‘openly, honestly and promptly,’” Emmanuelle Moreau, head of media relations at the IOC wrote in an email. “We are working with Sochi 2014 to achieve these objectives, and we expect that the media will be able to report normally at the games.”

While Bogen and others said they believe there will be few glitches during the two-week event, they are convinced problems are more likely to occur before and after the torch reaches Sochi.

“I am certain that before the Olympics there will be other incidents with foreign journalists,” he said.

And afterwards—when the spotlight fades—the reckoning for the Russians who spoke with local and foreign journalists will come.


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Alison Langley has more than 25 years experience in journalism as a reporter and editor. Her stories have appeared in a variety of publications, including The New York Times, The Guardian, The FT and The Independent. She currently lectures in journalism at Fachhochschule Wien and Webster University Vienna.