The online bullying suffered by short-track skater Elise Christie has prompted Team GB to question why social media service providers do not do more to protect people from cyber abuse.

Christie has revealed that she had received threatening messages on social media in the wake of her disqualification from the 500 metres in Sochi, when she collided with Korean rival Park Seung-hi.

The 23-year-old Scot, who is due to compete in the heats of her favoured event, the 1000m on Tuesday, has since deleted her Twitter account.

Loading article content

Darryl Seibel, the British Olympic Association's director of communications, said some of the messages were "quite distasteful" and added that it was "worrying to see just how easy it is for individuals to use social media as a vehicle to bully and harass people".

Seibel added: "I do believe service providers must be a part of the solution and probably could do more to help keep these things from happening. We shouldn't make the mistake of thinking it's limited just to high-profile sports figures, because it's not. There are young people who aren't competing on big, bright stages, who are subjected to horrible forms of abuse.

"I don't think it's entirely reasonable to say it's up to law enforcement, or the Football Association, or the Rugby Football Union, the BOA, or any other governing entity, when service providers sit right at the heart of this. "We don't provide these tools, we don't market these tools. They do. They provide the portal. They have full sight of what's going on."