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Dmitry Medvedev,the president of Russia, has called for theresignation of some of the country’s Olympic officials who preparedathletes; this call follows the country’s poorest-ever performancein Vancouver, in terms of medal count.

Medvedev made the remarks in a televised address, saying: “Thoseresponsible should take the brave decision and sign a letter [ofresignation]. If they can’t we will help them. We must drasticallychange the training of our athletes, judging by what has happenedin Vancouver.”

Medvedev added that “[f]or a long time we have benefited fromSoviet achievements. At some point they ran out. We have lost theSoviet sports school, it is simply gone, but we have not formed ourown system, even though the amount of money put out into sports wasunprecedented. That means that money doesn’t decide everything.Money is an important factor, but it does not decideeverything.”

Russia finished the Olympics in eleventh place on the medalstable, with three golds; at the 2006 Turin games, the country wasin the top five, with eight golds and twenty-two overall medals. InVancouver, the figure skaters did not receive any gold medals; inhockey, Russia lost 7-3 in quarterfinals to Canada, finishing out ofthe medals.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putinalso commented on the issue on Friday, two days before the closingceremony of the Games. “Of course we expected more from our team.But that’s not cause to throw up our hands, wear a sackcloth andashes or beat ourselves with chains.”

Russia is due to host the next Winter Games, held in 2014, inSochi.

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