#19 - JRL 2009-196 - JRL Home

Moscow Times
October 26, 2009
Kremlin: State, Sports Don’t Mix
By Alexandra Odynova

President Dmitry Medvedev called on Friday for government officials to resign from leadership posts at sports organizations within a month in order to promote the development of sports.

Medvedev, speaking during a visit to Kazan, said he has already ordered his administration to take steps to remove sports portfolios from officials, including Sports, Tourism and Youth Politics Minister Vitaly Mutko, who also heads the Russian Football Union.

The new sports heads must be professionals ready to tackle problems “24 hours a day,” Medvedev said, according to an audio file of his remarks posted on the Kremlin’s web site.

He stressed that officials are wasting their time on foreign trips or simply sitting in their offices as part of their sports duties. The incumbent officials might head a sports organization’s supervisory board, but not the executive body, Medvedev said.

The changes concern government officials heading 10 sports federations, including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov of the Rowing Slalom Federation, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov of the Chess Federation and Transportation Minister Igor Levitin of the Table Tennis Federation.

None of the government officials affected by Medvedev’s announcement made any public comments about the proposed shift over the weekend. The Russian Football Union and other sports organizations could not be reached for comment Sunday.

Medvedev’s plan does not include State Duma deputies, such as Deputy Vladislav Tretyak of the Hockey Federation, Kommersant reported Saturday, citing a Kremlin source. It was unclear if state-connected business leaders, like Gazprom deputy head Alexander Medvedev of the Kontinental Hockey League, might face restrictions.

Medvedev’s new sports policy is a reversal from steps taken by then-President Vladimir Putin in 2004, when control of sports federations was handed over to government officials.


Officials and Their Sports

Official Sports Body

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Rowing Slalom Federation

Transportation Minister Igor Levitin Table Tennis Federation

Sports, Tourism and Youth Politics Minister Vitaly Mutko Russian Football Union

Federal Guard Service director Yevgeny Murov Boxing Federation

Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Naryshkin All-Russia Swimming Federation

Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev All-Russia Volleyball Federation

Audit Chamber chief of staff Sergei Shakhrai Russian National Badminton Federation

Airborne Troops commander Vladimir Shamanov Russian Taekwondo Union

Tver Governor Dmitry Zelenin All-Russia Sailing Federation

Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov Russian Chess Federation

­ MT

Bookmark and Share - Back to the Top -        


Bookmark and Share

- Back to the Top -        

  Follow Johnson's Russia List on Twitter