Medvedev Wants to Punish Russia's Olympic Leadership

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This was coming - following Russia's poor performance at the recently-concluded Winter Olympics, President Dmitry Medvedev is calling for the heads to roll. At a meeting with the leadership of the United Russia political party, Medvedev proposed that those responsible for preparing for the Olympics should resign. "If they cannot do that, then we will help them," added the president. Experts think that this is clearly directed at Vitaly Mutko, Russia's Sports Minister, and head of the Russian Olympic Committee Leonid Tyagachyov.

"Whoever is responsible for preparing for the Olympics should be held accountable now. The responsible persons should take a courageous decision and write a (resignation) statement," said the President.

For his part, Mutko defended his actions. The Sports Minister has asked not to make loud statements about the Games and not to escalate the situation. "If we remove some official, will our skiers run faster?" However, he did add that "Vancouver painted the real picture in (our) sport." Russia spent an estimated 1 billion roubles (approximately $330 million) preparing for these games.

Given the current mood in the country after a poor showing in Vancouver, Russia intends to stop at nothing to recapture its pride at the 2014 Winter Olympics to be held in the southern Russian city of Sochi.

Yevgeny Bendersky is the Senior Strategic Advisor for International Operations at Jenkins Hill International, LLC and a RealClearWorld contributor.
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