Russian President Vladimir Putin is astonished, why the national Olympic committee and Russian representatives in the International Olympic Committee are so passive at the time when the referees are biased against the Russian athletes at the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. In his words, other countries that felt not such a biased treatment at the Olympics, are “on a more active position.” Unlike Russia.
During his conversation with journalists on the events in Salt Lake City President Putin mentioned, “the process of excessive commercialization has collided with the Olympics principles”, ITAR-TASS informs. To put it other words, the medals have been already bought.
Before the Olympics’ beginning there were rumors that four, or five, at maximum, gold medals will be given to Russia. And not more. The amount was said to be enough for the fifth or sixth team result. Does not it seem clear so far?
As of now we have got five gold medals. Do we have any great chances to win more gold medals till the end of the Olympic scandals? Perhaps, in hockey? Rather funny.
The president has paid special attention to hockey during the conversation with the journalists. It is not clear for him, why referees from the National Hockey League have been invited to the Olympics – the International Olympic Committee contracted with them. It can not be done this way, because “national teams, not transnational clubs are taking part in the Olympic Games.” In addition, the referees live and earn in North America. Can we believe they are unbiased?
Vladimir Putin still hopes, “the difficulties are temporary”, that they happen because of “a change of generations” in the Olympics’ management. Current president of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Roggue has just taken over. And, as we know, practice makes perfect.
The Russian sports officials are the key reason for the problems of the Olympic team, not the athletes. The Russian team should have left the Olympics after the very first scandal with the figure skaters, or to declare that any contacts with the USA will be stopped, if more scandals of that kind happen. Russia would get the support of the Korean, Chinese, Belarussian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian and Finnish teams, as they all have fallen victims to the biased referees.
Certainly, the sports problem is the sphere of our sports officials. On the other side, a TV appearance was not obligatory; the president could have called the sports officials and settle the problem.
As it became known, the US anti-dope committee plans to test goal keeper of the Russian hockey team Nikolay Khabibullin before the Russian – US semifinal.
Sergey Stefanov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/02/22/37468.html