Locals: 'Authorities killing stray dogs in Sochi ahead of Olympic Games'

Sochi 2014 officials refute claims that there has been a culling of stray dogs in order to "clean up" before the beginning of the Winter Olympic Games in the city.

Russian animal rights activists have accused Sochi's local authorities of rounding up and poisoning stray dogs wandering the city, as they bid to exterminate their presence ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

A local resident named Yulia Krasova has told reporters that she saw a dog suffering in pain as she left a cinema in the city a fortnight ago and preceded to film it dying as evidence.

She is quoted by CNN as saying: "At first I thought someone beat the dog. It jumped up and started running around in circles. Then she fell down and started spitting up so I called the veterinarian.

"He said that there is a 100% guarantee the dog was poisoned."

Another Sochi resident, Irina Gutnik, backed up Krasova's claims, although the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee have refuted the accusations.

In a statement, they said: "All stray dogs that are found on the Olympic Park are collected by a professional veterinary contractor for the well-being of the people on the Park and the animals themselves.

"All healthy animals are released following their health check."

The culling of animals is just the latest in a long line of controversies relating to the Games in Russia.

Short track speed skater Jon Eley of Great Britain poses after being named Team GB flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 on February 5, 2014
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