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    Head of Russian Ice Hockey Federation dismissed - official

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    MOSCOW, March 24 (RIA Novosti) - The head of Russia's Olympic Committee said Friday that the president of the country's ice-hockey federation had left his post.

    ROC President Leonid Tyagachyov said Alexander Steblin submitted his resignation at a hockey federation session Friday. He said the session also formed a commission of 11 people to prepare for an extraordinary session slated for April 25 to elect a new president.

    When asked why he had resigned, Steblin said: "There are high interests of the federation and it was necessary to make a fundamental decision. We need new people, new ideas."

    "I am not ashamed of my work," Steblin said. "There were not always [good] results, and in the last Olympics [in Italy] we had a brilliant [quarterfinals] victory over Canada and subsequently a weak game against Finland."

    Russia's Olympic ice-hockey team finished fourth at the Winter Olympics in Turin, failing to reach the final after loosing 0:4 to Finland in the semifinal then 0:3 to the Czech Republic in the bronze-medal game.

    Steblin said the new president would be announced at the extraordinary session, but refused to name possible candidates.

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