Russian Olympic Committee head resigns after flop

Olympic Committee Head Leonid Tyagachev resigns in response to Russia's poor Olympic showing in Vancouver

Topics: Winter Olympics 2010, Winter Olympics,

The head of the Russian Olympic Committee resigned on Wednesday in the wake of the nation’s worst performance at the Winter Games, news agencies said, citing the committee’s spokesman.

When contacted by The Associated Press, however, the spokesman said only “that information is not confirmed,” before hanging up. He did not deny making the statements to the Russian media or say the information was incorrect.

Leonid Tyagachev, a former sports minister, took over as head of the Russian Olympic Committee in 2001. In the wake of the Vancouver Games, President Dmitry Medvedev has warned that sports officials would be fired if they failed to resign voluntarily.

The news agencies Interfax and ITAR-Tass cited Gennady Shvets as saying that Tyagachev had tendered his resignation. “This obviously concerns the Russian athletes’ performance at the Vancouver Olympic Games,” Interfax quoted the spokesman as saying.

Russia won just 15 medals in Vancouver — and only three golds — two fewer than its previous low in Salt Lake City in 2002. Officials said before the Olympics that 30 medals and a top-three finish in the medal standings were the targets.

Russia placed 11th for golds and sixth in the overall medal count, results which proved particularly embarrassing as the country takes the torch for the next Winter Olympics at its Black Sea resort of Sochi in 2014.

Tyagachev, 63, helped Russia win hosting rights to the Sochi Games. He is a personal friend and, according to some Russian news reports, a former ski instructor of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

There was no word on any replacement.

Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Tuesday in televised comments that he would “calmly leave” his post if Medvedev’s warnings were directed at him. Mutko — who has so far resisted calls to resign from a wide array of Russian politicians — on Monday blamed several factors for the Vancouver flop. He said the team was unlucky, that no one in Russia takes new winter sports such as freestyle skiing seriously, and that doping bans had deprived Russia of several leading medal contenders.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>