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    Putin demands probe into use of Russian Olympic funding

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    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called on Friday for an investigation into the use of funds allocated for preparations for the Vancouver Games, saying the failure cannot be explained merely by biased judging.

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called on Friday for an investigation into the use of funds allocated for preparations for the Vancouver Games, saying the failure cannot be explained merely by biased judging.

    "The question arises: Maybe, the funds went not where they were needed, but where some people wanted. Of course, we need to look at this," he said.

    The Vancouver Games were Russia's worst, with the team winning just three gold medals, five silver and seven bronze, and finishing 11th in the medal table. The Kremlin has been appalled by Russia's "dismal" performance.

    "Attempts to explain the defeat solely by biased judging, weather conditions or obstacles posed by rivals are inappropriate. This is what outsiders do. We should start with an analysis of our own work: if everything was done for our athletes, if those who were to help [the athletes] were truly devoted to what they were doing," Putin said.

    The prime minister added that Russia had spent 3.3 billion rubles ($110.5 million) preparing its Olympic team, five times more than for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, when Russia was fourth in the medal table with eight golds, six silver and eight bronze.

     

    MOSCOW, March 5 (RIA Novosti)

     

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