MOSCOW, June 2. /TASS/. Alexander Zubkov, the two-time Olympic champions of the 2014 Winter Games, was elected on Thursday the president of the Russian Federation of Bobsleigh RFB).
The voting took place at an extraordinary session of the federation on Thursday in Moscow and Zubkov’s only contender in the elections was Vladimir Lyubovitsky, the former coach of the Russian national bobsleigh team.
The 41-year-old bobsledder brought his country two gold medals at home 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi winning in two-men and four-men competitions. Zubkov is also the 2006 Olympics silver medalist and the 2010 Olympics bronze medalist.
The extraordinary session to elect the new head of the organization was scheduled after former RFB President Georgy Bedzhamov fled Russia late last year facing fraud charges.
Bedzhamov was a co-owner of Vneshprombank. 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. His sister Larisa Markus, the president of Vneshprombank, was arrested on December 22 on fraud charges.
Investigators say that Bedzhamov played part in fraud schemes of Markus, who allegedly concluded loan agreements without the intention to repay them. The damage from the fraud is estimated at 932 million rubles (over $14.2 million).
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.
According to various earlier 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. In late April, the press service of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office announced that Bedzhamov was detained in Monaco.