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Russian national bobsleigh and skeleton coaches unpaid for half a year — source

February 18, 16:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The problem with the wage arrears emerged after on January 21 the Central Bank of Russia revoked the license from Vneshprombank that held the money intended for salaries
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© AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, archive

MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. Developments with wage arrears to foreign specialists and coaches working in Russian sports are not favorable, however, the situation is much worse in national bobsleigh and skeleton teams, where coaching staff has been unpaid for half a year already, a source familiar with the situation told TASS on Thursday.

According to media reports earlier in the month, foreign specialists working in Russian Olympic sports teams were not paid their salaries by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) starting January 1.

"Delayed wages to foreign specialists started to accumulate since the beginning of the year, but the situation in the national bobsleigh and skeleton teams is by far worse as coaches have been unpaid there for half a year already," the source said.

The problem with the wage arrears emerged after on January 21 the Central Bank of Russia revoked the license from Vneshprombank, which at that time was the country’s 40th biggest lender in terms of assets.

Money, which the ROC paid as salaries to foreign coaches and specialists working in Russian sports, was kept in Vneshprombank.

However, the Russian national teams of bobsleigh and skeleton were hit harder by the developing situation as compared to other sports. Georgy Bedzhamov, the president of the Russian Federation of Bobsleigh (RFB), was one of the shareholders of Vneshprombank. His sister Larisa Markus, the president and co-owner of Vneshprombank, was arrested on December 22 on fraud charges.

Bedzhamov has been the president of the RFB since September 2010 and he has been also the vice president of International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) since his election to this post in May 2014.

Bedzhamov is currently not in Russia. According to various media reports, he fled to Monaco in late December and had plans of asking for a political asylum in Europe.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said earlier commenting on Bedzhamov’s absence in the country that the ministry would raise the issue of electing a new head of the RFB in case the current president continued ignoring his responsibilities.

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