Yogurt shipments blocked to U.S. Olympic athletes

Yogurt shipments blocked to U.S. Olympic athletes

Among the hold your breath moments heading into the start of the Winter Olympic games this weekend is whether Shaun White will find gold in the halfpipe, if Ashley Wagner will medal or fall in the figure skating event—and whether U.S. Olympians get to eat their favorite Greek yogurt: Chobani.

Russia has blocked more than 5,000 cups of blueberry, strawberry, and peach Chobani Greek yogurt meant to feed U.S. Olympic athletes in Sochi because of missing customs paperwork. Unless a diplomatic breakthrough comes soon, our team will have to compete without plain Chobani yogurt for smoothies, too.

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Greek yogurt is high in protein and was part of the U.S. Olympic team's training regimen. In our recent yogurt tests, Chobani Low-Fat was Rated Excellent for taste, say experts at Consumer Reports.

The controversy over the strained Greek yogurt threatened to strain international relations. “As the world looks forward to a successful 2014 Winter Olympics, I urge your country’s immediate approval of the entry of this shipment of Chobani Greek yogurt,” said U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer in a letter to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Read more about Greek yogurt from experts at Consumer Reports.

In response, the Russian Embassy issued a statement saying that what had been a technical issue has taken on a political tone by “the demand” of an immediate import of Chobani yogurt to Russia.

Neither side is blinking. But the yogurt remains stored in a cold temperature-controlled facility near Newark International Airport, ready to take off for Sochi if cooler heads prevail and a resolution can be found. “This is a time when the focus should be on our athletes, so we're just trying to do right by them in getting food they enjoy from home,” according to a statement from Chobani, a sponsor of U.S. Olympians and Paralympians.

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