Olympics 2014: Russian officials block shipment of U.S. athletes’ Chobani yogurt

Russian officials have blocked a shipment of Chobani yogurt intended for U.S. Olympic athletes in Sochi.
Russian officials have blocked a shipment of Chobani yogurt intended for U.S. Olympic athletes in Sochi.
(Mike Groll / Associated Press)

Russian officials are depriving U.S. Olympic athletes of their greek yogurt.

A shipment of Chobani yogurt headed for the athletes in Sochi has been blocked. There are 5,000 cups of blueberry, strawberry, peach and plain Chobani being held in a temperature controlled container at Newark airport in New Jersey.

But the Russian government isn’t just targeting Chobani. Russia doesn’t allow in any American yogurt in due to its issues with American dairy standards. U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer has launched a campaign to free the yogurt and has written to the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and head of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach.

“Chobani Yogurt is safe, nutritious and delicious and the Russian Authorities should get past ‘nyet’ and let this prime sponsor of the US Olympic Team deliver their protein-packed food to our athletes” said Schumer in a release.


According to Schumer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is requesting the approval of a USDA sanitary certificate meant to ensure the safety of the yogurt. Chobani has turned in all necessary paperwork, but the Russian government is still refusing to accept the yogurt.

But the Russian Embassy in Washington D.C. is claiming in a statement, that the necessary paperwork, which includes a veterinary certificate used for the importation of all dairy products from cattle, was not filed.

Chobani issued its own statement praising the Senator’s efforts. “At a time when the focus should be on our athletes, this seems to be a bureaucratic issue and we appreciate the support and efforts to do right by our athletes” read the statement.

So far, the U.S. athletes seem to be doing just fine without the yogurt. U.S. moguls skier Hannah Kearney placed first Thursday during a qualification round, earning her a spot in Saturday’s final.

Want more quirky food news? Follow me on Twitter: @Jenn_Harris_



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