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    PUTIN TO HELP REHABILITATION OF RETIRED SPORTSMEN

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    MOSCOW, March 10, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - The state is ready to provide assistance in the implementation of the rehabilitation program for sportsmen who have achieved high results in sports and are no longer participating in competitions either for age- or trauma-related reasons. Vladimir Putin said this on Wednesday at a meeting with captains of national Olympic teams due to take part in the summer Olympics due in Athens.

    At the meeting, Vyacheslav Fetisov suggested to the president that a program of the kind be launched.

    "It is not a problem today. I will phone the prime minister, and he will instruct the Finance Ministry to allocate funds for the program of rehabilitation and support for sportsmen who have finished their career," said the head of state.

    Mr. Putin called on Olympic teams' coaches and leaders of the Russian sport along with major businessmen to work out a program of support for the sport.

    "Businessmen are ready to support sportsmen, they only need to know the priorities and where to invest," said the president.

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