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Medvedev calls for resignations after Russia flops at Winter Olympics


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Medvedev calls for resignations after Russia flops at Winter Olympics

Moscow, Russia (CNN) -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called for the resignation of the nation's top Olympic officials Monday after the country's worst performance in a Winter Olympics in nearly a hundred years.

Speaking on state television from his residence outside Moscow, Medvedev put the main blame for Team Russia's failures on sports bureaucrats, whom he called "fat cats," and said the country's sports pyramid should be turned upside down.

Full article: http://edition.cnn.com/2010/SPORT/03/01/russia.olympics.president/index.html

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As they used to say on 'Laugh In'...very interesting.

So there's Medvedev using political pressure to try and oust some of the Russian sport's bureaucracy. The article doesn't say but let's assume that the Russian NOC will feel at least some of this heat, and may act upon it.

Compare and contrast with how the IOC has in the past suspended the Iraq NOC due to political interference. Now of course Russia and Iraq are at the opposite ends of the IOC sporting hierarchy. However as usual those byzantine folk bunkered down in Lausanne make damn sure that they make up the rules as they see fit.

Right now I'd say job security in the Russian NOC is at the same level as Finnish gold in Vancouver...zip, nul, nothing, bugger all...

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Compare and contrast with how the IOC has in the past suspended the Iraq NOC due to political interference.

Interesting point actually. FIFA have very similar rules and it's arguable - no, not arguable, it's a fact - that they and their associate members apply them too much at times - the suspension of Togo being the most disgusting example.

Perhaps it's the other way around with the IOC. A suggestion of a shake up in Russian sport isn't enough to claim political interference, but saying the government would make it happen if it didn't go ahead may well be.

Edited by RobH
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Interesting point actually. FIFA have very similar rules and it's arguable - no, not arguable, it's a fact - that they and their associate members apply them too much at times - the suspension of Tongo being the most disgusting example.

Perhaps it's the other way around with the IOC. A suggestion of a shake up in Russian sport isn't enough to claim political interference, but saying the government would make it happen if it didn't go ahead may well be.

That's what I'm angling at...where do you draw the line in 'political interference'? Considering probably all so-called first world countries bar perhaps the US would have their national Olympic sports programs tied very tightly to the government, or possibly in other countries actually be part of the government's sports administration, then as soon as issues like funding and hierarchy changes are raised the IOC has to look askance. Of course it's very easy for an Iraq to get their Olympic involvement curtailed by Lausanne, as the Iarqis have no influence within the movement and little sporting success. But how about countries like Cuba? China? North Korea? Or in a hypothetical situation, as the 'own the podium' program was partly funded by the Canadian federal government if and when such funding is slashed for whatever reason could that be construed as 'political interference'?

But of course this is expecting the IOC to actually have a self-critical and ethical approach to its activities. Medvedev and his puppet master Putin may well pull the strings for the Russian Olympic administration and Sochi, but because we're talking about a giant of Olympic sports with money to burn and hosting rights to support, Jacques and his mates will conveniently look away when the axe comes down from the kremlin.

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I regard, or hope, the Vancouver games is a fresh start for Russia after 40 years of dubious results. The number of Russian athletes from the last couple of decades that are revealed as dopers have been way too high, finally it seems like they have taken doping AS A PROBLEM somewhat seriously. In such a situation they had to trust the young and inexperienced, and I for instance see a lot of very promising cross country skiers coming that will be very strong in four years (like Junior world champion Sedov). Hopefully this political commotion will not be a return to old sins....

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Sports Minister Ready to Quit Over Olympics

Sports minister Vitaly Mutkov said Tuesday that he was ready to step down, becoming the first top official to react to President Dmitry Medvedev's call for resignations after the country's lackluster showing at the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

"I will resign peacefully if this was directed at me," Mutko said as he arrived at Sheremetyevo Airport from Vancouver, Interfax reported.

...

Mutko and Russian Olympic Committee head Leonid Tyagachyov are close allies of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and neither announced Tuesday that he had resigned.

Putin has not commented on the Olympic performance since saying last week that the country needed to learn a lesson from Vancouver.

full article: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/sports-minister-ready-to-quit-over-olympics/400820.html

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  • 3 weeks later...

Reuters

Thursday, March 18, 2010; 1:42 PM

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Gennady Alyoshin has quit as Russia's deputy sports minister, the ministry said on Thursday.

Alyoshin, responsible for elite and recreational sports, became the second high-ranking official to quit after Russia's dismal showing at last month's Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Leonid Tyagachyov resigned as president of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) on March 3, two days after President Dmitry Medvedev ordered top sports officials to quit or be fired. The ROC's executive board will meet next week to discuss Tyagachyov's successor.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/18/AR2010031801520.html

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Deputy PM Zhukov may be president of Russia’s Olympic Committee

MOSCOW, April 6 (Itar-Tass) -- Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov may be elected the Russian Olympic Committee’s /OCR/ president. His candidature was discussed at a meeting of the Committee on Monday, a source in the Russia’s Olympic Committee said on Tuesday.

The OCR’s former president Leonid Tyagachev supported the candidature. Tyagachev resigned following the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games. Earlier, Tyagachev voiced the initiative to promote one of the deputy prime ministers to the OCR’s presidential position.

The candidature of Alexander Zhukov will be nominated during a meeting on Tuesday. The Olympic meeting will elect the OCR’s new president on May 20.

The list of candidatures must be presented before 18:00 Moscow time on April, 19.

Other candidatures to the position are: the deputy speaker of the State Duma and the Olympic champion, Svetlana Zhurova, the acting president of the Russian Olympic Committee, Igor Kazikov, Russia’s Minister of Sports Vitaliy Mutko, the chairman of the Lokomotiv sports society, four-times Olympic champion Alexander Popov, the chairman of Russia’s Biathlon Union and president of the ONEXIM Group, Mikhail Prokhorov, the chairman of the State Duma’s committee on sports and two times Olympic champion, Vyacheslav Fetisov, the first deputy president of the OCR and the president of the Rosneft company, Sergei Bogdanchikov, the head of the presidential staff, Vladimir Kozhin, the president of Russia’s Tennis Federation, Shamil Tarpishchev, and the president of the Sochi-2014 Winter Games organising committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko.

http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=14993522&PageNum=0

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Russian Deputy PM Zhukov elected Olympic Committee head

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov was elected on Thursday head of the Russian Olympic Committee, and former committee head Leonid Tyagachyov was elected committee honorary president.

...

A total of 204 out of 220 participants in Thursday's meeting of the Olympic Committee voted to elect Zhukov committee chairman. He was the only candidate for the position, despite Tyagachyov's suggestion that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin would be a good candidate to replace him.

Zhukov's candidacy was put up by the All-Russian Summer Olympic Sports Association and the Russian Ski Federation and supported by other sports organizations in the country.

http://en.rian.ru/sports/20100520/159089816.html

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