When the Olympics is over, its results can be summed up on a governmental level. The day before senators and the government made harsh statements, and the president expressed his point of view on the event. As it turned out, “there was neither an Olympic Committee nor a State Sports Committee in Russia." Deputy Chairman of the Russian government staff Alexey Volin was rather categorical about it. Russia’s sports officials are in for a grave examination of their work during the Salt Lake Olympics. For this purpose, head of the Russian State Sports Committee Pavel Rozhkov and chairman of the National Olympic Committee Leonid Tyagachev have been invited to the parliament’s session in March. The work of the sports officials during the last Olympic Games will be discussed at the session.
Federation Council Chairman Sergey Mironov told journalists that “problems with Russian sports originate from the sports officials mostly; we understood this at the Salt Lake Olympics.” Pavel Rozhkov and Leonid Tyagachev will have to present an objective report on the state of Russian sports and their personal activities aimed at the promotion and development of the sports sector. In Mironov’s words, considering the report the deputies will examine and what law makers can do in the sphere.
RIA Novosti news agency reports that Alexey Volin said, “We are proud of our athletes who did their best, but the sports officials have been rather helpless and inactive.” He also meant the period of preparation for the Olympic Games, when the drug testing regulations and necessary norms were to have been confirmed. The Olympics has revealed the fact that Russia’s position (if there is one at all) is ignored by international sports organizations. “Sometimes it looks as though Russia’s sports officials are more concerned about their comfort and not the national sports. Russia needs more active and professional sports officials and managers.”
Unfortunately, Alexey Volin’s words were not the complete truth. To be honest, Russia’s failure at the Salt Lake Olympics was not the fault of certain individuals, as it is really a complex problem. The situation regarding our national sports is now menacing. As for the popularity of the winter sports in Russia, only figure skating, biathlon, and skiing can be mentioned here. Moreover, skating coach of Olympic champion Alexey Yagudin Svetlana Tarasova prefers to work in the USA, because “there is no good ice rinks in Russia.” It was said that Russia had no chances in 52 out of the 78 Salt Lake events. Not a single state program for the support and development of physical culture and sports has been developed in Russia so far. PRAVDA.Ru already reported on this in its article “Why we lost the Salt Lake Olympic Games." Indeed, it is easier to act like Alexey Volin and blame the sports officials for the failure at the Olympics (probably, it will be of use) and reshuffle the staff.
Earlier, President Vladimir Putin accused the National Olympic Committee and Russia’s representatives in IOC of their passive position concerning the scandals at the Olympic Games.
The day before, the president sent an address to the athletes of the Russian Olympic team on the games’ results, the presidential press-service informed. Vladimir Putin mentioned that the lastest Olympics demonstrated once again that sports select brave and resolute people; he said that the decision to complete the hard Olympic distance was mature. “The lessons of the Salt Lake Olympics will encourage athletes for more victories," the president said.
Sergey Stefanov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/02/26/37572.html