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"Forget the judges and about dope, go for the gold medal!"

February 7 2006

Prior to the Winter Olympics in Turin, there were only four days. The vast majority of Russian athletes following a meeting on Feb. 3 ceremony wires already settles in the Olympic village in Italy. Following them will fly to Turin for an impressive number of delegation officials who will have to provide comprehensive assistance to athletes. But before leaving sports officials of Russia, came to the Kremlin, where a "parting word" to them asked Vladimir Putin.

"Our Olympians should feel and administrative, and legal, and medical support. Athletes should not think about it, they must fight for the result. The rest have to think the Olympic Committee ", - said Putin at a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and head of the Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games in Turin, Alexander Zhukov, and president of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Leonid Tyagachev. Head of State recalled the numerous doping scandals and court, and stressed that combating them is the main task of Russian officials.

After this, the president moved on to more pleasant things. He recalled that Russia is sending 190 athletes to Turin, and many of whom claim to rewards. "I want to accede to the wishes of all the fans in Russia and wish success to our Olympic athletes, we are waiting for bright, memorable events and, of course, the results" - the head of state.

Speaking about the need to protect the administrative and legal assistance to athletes, Putin, of course, was referring to the endless scandals that accompanied the Russian team at the last Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Let us recall only the loudest of them. Thus, the Russian champion in pair skating Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze were forced to repeatedly climb up onto the podium to have their Canadian rivals got a second set of gold medals - a thing unheard of figure skating.

Even among the heroes of the loud doping scandal began the great Russian skier Larissa Lazutina (the hero of Russia!) And Olga Danilova. They were denied several gold medals, and our women's ski relay team just took off from the start. In turn, the Russian national hockey team in the semifinals of the U.S. team has been openly condemned. However, nothing but complaints about the anti-Russian plot to become a legendary press conference, our sports leaders could not do. A sad outcome of games in Salt Lake City - 5 gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze awards, and only the fifth team place.

Nevertheless her, despite the heavy load of games in the U.S., the head of the ROC Leonid Tyagachev full of optimism in the prospects of the Russians in Turin. He said that Russia would win in Turin to 25 awards in various denominations. "According to preliminary estimates, Russia can win in Turin, winning 24-25. What dignity? I have so far escaped the exact figures, it will depend largely on luck, "- said the trailers. "The main hope, we look at figure skating. They are followed by the biathlon, skiing and skating. Skaters in this season we are all very pleased. It seems that the team overcame the crisis and starts to seriously compete with global giants. Cool added recently luge and bobsledder. In addition, the results of the latest World Cup show that we can claim at least a bronze medal in the individual freestyle - a mogul and acrobatics "- quoted by the ROC president Izvestia.

In turn, the head of Rossport Vyacheslav Fetisov, though expressed hope about the same number of medals, but still was more cautious."I think that, first of all gold medals to be won in three forms - cross-country skiing, biathlon and figure skating. Now it is important to create a good resource base to the future we could claim more medals, "- said Fetisov in the December hearings in the Duma. He added that in other sports we are still fighting hard for the medals.

Indeed, in figure skating, Russians have a chance of all four gold. In this case, Evgeni Plushenko, and all can lose only myself. In skiing Julia Chepalova and Vasily Rochev appear among the favorites, but then the opponents are not asleep. In our women's biathlon relay team for a long time seemed to be the main favorite, but rivals from Germany before the Olympics looked preferable. Of a strong half shooting skiers and does throwing a hot and cold. At what fret they will set up changeable alpine weather - is anyone's guess.

It seems to be the beginning of something obtained in Sannomiya sports, bobsleigh and speed skating. Albert Demchenko, Alexander Zubkov and Svetlana Zhurova, of course, are in the list of contenders for the award. However, in these sports, we did not so long ago conquered the skeptics have every reason to say: "Fresh Tradition, yes hard to believe." Much the same can be said about the anguished injuries hockey team - on its "golden" prospects refrained to speak, even the double Olympic champion, the great defender of Fetisov.

Somehow, the fate of Olympic medals must be determined on sports arenas and not in camera and not a doping laboratory - and it seems that to obtain the title of Olympic champion and does not necessarily go to the start. Preventing such scandals - the task of officials from the ROC, and now after the president will find it difficult to shift responsibility to someone else. And then in the case of another "judge-Doping soul" on the heads of Russian sports fans superiors remember how they figured to provide athletes a certificate stating that the pride of our sport - solid asthmatics ...


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