A Tajik Olympic official says the country sold one of its official accreditations to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver to a Russian comedian.
Muhammadshoh Abdulloev, the head of Tajikistan's National Olympic Committee delegation to Vancouver, told RFE/RL that prominent comedian Gennady Khazanov officially represented Tajikistan at the Olympics last month.
Abdulloev said the cash-strapped Tajik delegation could not afford to invite Tajik guests to the Olympics and therefore had to sell two of its official accreditations to the Bosco Sport Company for $2,000 and a promise by Bosco to sponsor the Tajik delegation at the Summer Olympics in London in 2012.
It is not known how much Khazanov paid Bosco for the Tajik accreditation.
The Tajik Olympic team was represented in Vancouver by only two athletes -- alpine skiers Andrei Drygin and Alisher Qudratov. The International Olympic Committee paid all expenses of the Tajik athletes, their coaches, and officials in Vancouver.
Russian media report that Armenia, Moldova, and Russia are some of the countries that brought prominent Russian actors, journalists, and businessmen as official guests to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in exchange for cash payments.
-- Tajik Service