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SBD Global/January 17, 2014/Olympics
Putin Promises No Discrimination At Games; Russian PM Denies Corruption Claims
Published January 17, 2014
DENYING ALLEGATIONS: R-SPORT also reported Russian Deputy PM Dmitry Kozak "has rejected claims" that preparations for the Sochi Olympics "have been blighted by massive misspending." IOC member Gian-Franco Kasper told Swiss radio last week that he believed up to a third of Sochi's alleged $50B budget "had been siphoned off, pointing the finger" at businessmen close to the Kremlin and Putin. Kozak said, "No such facts exist. There are abandoned projects, they do exist." Kozak said that "insignificant" money had been spent on feasibility studies on "moving the bobsled track and one of the Olympic villages." Kozak said that those "were the conclusions of the country's Audit Chamber after a check into Olympic spending," and insisted that the budget for the Winter Games "was closer" to $6.4B, a figure that "appears to exclude the huge infrastructure projects around Olympic venues" (R-SPORT, 1/16). RIA NOVOSTI reported Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin said that Kasper "should be taken to court over the comments." Yakunin: "Did [Kasper] take part in this theft? Then he should be judged. If he has received some sort of materials proving it is true, then put him on the stand, but otherwise you are a slanderer and you need to be judged according to the law" (RIA NOVOSTI, 1/16).