Andy Murray to stay in Olympic village despite growing issues

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Andy Murray has decided to extend his stay in the Olympic athletes' village to the end of the Games despite a growing number of problems emerging about security and facilities.

The British Olympic Association (BOA) confirmed Friday that nine of its teams' bags had gone missing after they transferred from their Belo Horizonte training camp to the village.

Australian athletes have also had problems, with the reported theft of laptops and complaints about toilets and showers not working in their apartments.

Murray, Britain's flag bearer in Friday's opening ceremony, said earlier this year that he would stay outside the village to improve his chances of retaining his 2012 title.

He had been persuaded to spend some time in the village by the BOA but had been thought likely to stay for no more than one or two days. The Scot's management company told ESPN only this week that his commitment to living with the other 11,000-plus athletes and delegates in that area while at the Games was not guaranteed at that stage.

But Team GB tennis coach Leon Smith, speaking before news of the bags going missing emerged, said: "Everyone is in, Andy as well, and we are all soaking up as much of the atmosphere as possible.

"Team GB have done a lot of work on our block and we have everything we need here. We share living space with the other tennis players and have fun in the evening. Andy is in the village and the plan is for the whole time. He's looking to stay."

Murray's decision -- made before he was appointed team flag bearer -- was confirmed by the BOA, which spent 6 weeks improving facilities and ensuring there were no problems with its athletes' quarters before the Games.

The governing body, which had plumbers and other tradesmen on hand for work, has even helped out other less organised national associations, and its operation has been deemed a great success.

A perimeter fence decorated with pictures of the team mascot, Pride the Lion, in a range of sporting poses, greets the athletes on their way in, and there are Union Flag deckchairs, a giant television screen and a table tennis table outside the block.

There are also posters inside advising on which official kit to wear on which days, as well as social media guidelines and, in addition to exercise cycles, red, white and blue Brompton folding bikes for the athletes to get around the large park area.

Security, however, is largely outside the BOA's control and problems have been reported in the village.

"A small number of bags -- nine from a total of nearly 3,000 pieces of luggage -- are currently unaccounted for following their transfer from Belo Horizonte to the Olympic Village in Rio," a statement from the BOA said.

"We are working hard to locate the bags as soon as possible. In the meantime all athletes continue to train as normal and are unaffected when it comes to training and competition wear. The focus of athletes involved is very much on the start of the Games and their own performances."

The BOA said it was unclear whether the bags had been stolen or lost but the Games organising body, Rio 2016, has acknowledged there have been issues.

A spokesman said: "We are taking measures to reinforce security across the venue and will continue to gather feedback from the chef de missions through our daily meetings. We are greatly appreciative of the close cooperation and understanding of the delegations as we work together to resolve issues."

Another potential downside for Murray could be the amount of attention he gets going to and from the accommodation, with other athletes wanting selfies and autographs.

The Briton found himself delayed on his way to a media conference Thursday by members of the world's press wanting pictures with him.

Smith said: "Everybody has been respectful and Andy cares about people. That's why he is in the village, so he can be around the other athletes and spend time with them."

Murray has been drawn to face Serbian Viktor Troicki in the first round and, despite not playing since winning Wimbledon, has impressed in practice.

"Andy is playing great tennis, is in great form and full of confidence," said Smith. "He seems very happy and doesn't look rusty. This is a big focus point for him. Physically he looks in great shape, mentally he's in a really good place and he is hitting the ball well and moving well."