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Russian President Fires Olympic Official Over Delays, Cost Overruns

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center at the Krasnaya Polyana resort near the Black Sea city of Sochi on February 6.
President Vladimir Putin has dismissed a senior Russian Olympic Committee official over spiraling costs and delays in preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Putin toured Olympic venues on February 6.

In front of news cameras, he criticized Akhmed Bilalov, the vice president of Russia's Olympic Committee, when he was told of the delays to the completion of the ski-jumping complex.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak told reporters in Sochi on February 7 that Bilalov was also likely to be fired from his post on the board of the Resorts of the North Caucasus, a state firm created to develop a chain of luxury resorts.

By firing Bilalov, Putin appeared to issue a warning that he will not put up with any further delays and higher costs, already expected to reach $50 billion.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa