MOSCOW: Russian investigators are probing 12 cases of corruption at the Vancouver Olympics after a report exposed lavish spending by sports officials, the head of the federal audit chamber said Thursday.
"We are talking about a number of contracts and improper use of funds, allocated to train elite sportsmen," Sergei Stepashin told the Interfax news agency.
The investigative committee of Russia`s prosecutor general`s office "has launched criminal probes into 12 episodes," Stepashin said, without elaborating.
"I am sure that these criminal cases will be implemented in concrete terms." A report published by the federal audit chamber earlier this month found that Russia spent a total of 6.2 billion rubles (200 million dollars) on the 2010 Winter Olympics, which reaped a mere three gold medals.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko claimed for five breakfasts per day, while staying in a hotel suite that cost 1,400 US dollars per night for 20 nights, the report revealed.
A visit by Russian pop star, Dima Bilan, the winner of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest, cost Russia 77,000 US dollars.
The audit report also complained that outsiders with no apparent sporting significance had been accredited as members of the Russian team, including the pop producer wife of skating star Yevgeny Plushenko.
The Games were a calamity for Russia, used to sweeping the board in several sports in previous Olympics, and raised worries at the highest level about its performance when it hosts the next Winter Games in 2014 in Sochi.
BDST: 2020HRS, July 29, 2010