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Jul. 6 2010 - 11:21 am | 227 views | 0 recommendations | 7 comments

Breakfast of champions

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MAY 20:  Russian President Dm...

Dima and Mutko.

In case you’re sick of the spy scandal, here’s a blast from the past: the Russian collapse at the Vancouver Olympics.

Remember that? Well, in case you forgot Russia’s inability to live up to its Olympic dreams (successfully done by the Russian paralympians a couple weeks later), the Russian Treasury released its audit of the Russian national team’s performance on Friday. And boy is it stunning.

Some highlights:

  • Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko spent $1400 a night on his hotel room, for 20 nights (regulations cap hotels at $130)
  • Mutko had a fantastical 97 breakfasts during his 20 day stay
  • Tickets to Russian supporters were sold at 11 times their face value
  • Awarding equipment contracts to bogus firms that were based right inside the Sports Ministry. These firms jacked up their “prices” by as much as 66%
  • Shelling out money for events that had no time, place, or description
  • Paying for extra — and unnecessary — people to come to Vancouver with the Russian delegation (people like skater Evgeny Pluschenko’s wife) but not paying for other people, like two coaches on the bobsledding team
  • And my favorite: Many athletes were trained by high school sports coaches

While people are calling for Mutko’s head, last night’s meeting of the Federation Council (the upper house of the Russian Parliament) to discuss the audit’s findings didn’t even result in a wrist slap. In fact, Mutko’s name wasn’t even mentioned.

via NewsRU.ru


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  1. collapse expand

    It is outrageous that they didn’t fire Mutko. That guy is a corrupt hack and really needs to go! Julia, thanks for the nice mention of the Russian paralympian team. It wasn’t that long ago that disabled athletes were shunned in Russia. It’s nice that they are finally getting the recognition they deserve.

  2. collapse expand

    I hope not every Russian gov department looks like this (but it’s only a fools hope)

  3. collapse expand

    Hey Julia,

    ..had a good laugh when you wrote about Moscow’s ‘tantric energy’! As a friend of mine who lived in Moscow for several years told me, quite non-chalantly, Moscow has the ‘best whores in the world’. Also, since I know quite a lot about true Tantrism, comparing gross vibratory 1st and 2nd chakra energies as ‘tantric’ is either 1) being polite; or, 2) being ignorant. And I sense from your writings, you are not ignorant.

    Peace,
    John Hawk
    Santa Fe, NM

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    About Me

    Hi! I am a journalist who, for reasons of sentimentality and an abiding fascination with the absurd, decided to live and work in Russia for a year just as the country vies with Somalia for Most Un-Safest Spot for Journalists in the World. I will blog in a death-defying manner, dear reader. That is a promise.

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