Since I seem to be on an Olympics kick this week — or, rather, a why-Russia-bombed-in-Vancouver kick — let’s continue with this story: A high-ranking Russian athletics official has been arrested for demanding a hefty slice off a government disbursement earmarked for “training for summer competitions” as well as fire code and sanitation compliance.
Since Russia’s sad finish in Vancouver, everyone — from Vladimir Putin to Evgeny Plushenko — has been complaining that the massive sums set aside by the Russian federal government to train and equip Russian athletes have not been getting where they’re supposed to get.
And now we know at least where some of it goes: kickbacks.
The official — the deputy director of the Moscow State Physical Education and Athletics Agency — demanded 5% of the government handout, which at 16 billion rubles ($545 million), would have amounted to a nice little tranche for him.
And hey, the athletes would’ve never noticed.