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Russian Olympic chief: Foreigners working with Russian bobsledders will be repaid in full

April 22, 2016, 15:01 UTC+3 KAZAN
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KAZAN, April 22. /TASS/. The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) will repay in full all wage arrears owed to foreign coaching specialists working with national bobsledders as soon as the accounts of the Russian Federation of Bobsleigh (RFB) are unblocked, ROC President Alexander Zhukov told TASS on Friday.

A total of seven foreign specialists work with the Russian national bobsleigh team. Among them is the head coach of the Russian national bobsleigh team Canadian specialist Pierre Lueders. The country’s national skeleton team is managed by German head coach Wilfried ‘Willi’ Schneider.

"We are ready to transfer the money to the Russian Federation of Bobsleigh as soon as the accounts of the federation are unblocked," Zhukov said in an interview with TASS. "All relevant decisions had been made, the documents were signed and the wage arrears will be repaid in full."

The problem with the wage arrears emerged after on January 21 the Central Bank of Russia revoked a 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.

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.

The Moscow Tverskoi Court sanctioned on February 5 the arrest in absentia of Bedzhamov, who had been also placed on the international wanted list on fraud charges.

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