Putin: Fire senior Russian Olympic official

Putin prompts sacking of Russian Olympic Committee VP over 2014 Sochi building cost overruns

Associated Press
Putin angry over Sochi Olympics cost overruns

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Olympic rings for the 2014 Winter Olympics are installed in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, southern Russia, late Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012. With the Winter Olympics a year away, IOC President Jacques Rogge praised Sochi organizers on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013 and defended the $51 billion price tag. (AP Photo/Ignat Kozlov))

SOCHI, Russia (AP) -- A year before the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics begin, President Vladimir Putin has demanded that a senior member of the Russian Olympic Committee be fired.

Putin's move came after he scolded officials over a two-year delay and huge cost overruns in the construction of ski jump facilities for the Sochi Games.

Akmet Bilalov's company was building the ski jump and adjacent facilities before selling its stake to state-owned Sberbank last year.

During his tour of Olympic venues Wednesday Putin fumed when he heard the cost of the ski jump had soared from 1.2 billion rubles ($40 million) to 8 billion rubles ($265 million) and the project was behind schedule.

Kozak told reporters Thursday that Putin has recommended the Russian Olympic Committee fire Bilalov, one of its six vice presidents.

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