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Russian Olympic Chief To Head Panel Overseeing Beijing Games

Russian Olympic chief Aleksandr Zhukov has been selected to head an International Olympic Committee (IOC) panel overseeing the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.

Zhukov, president of the Russian Olympic Committee, on February 24 was appointed chairman of the 16-member coordination commission that will monitor preparations for the games.

Coordination commissions work with local organizers and make inspection visits to host cities to make sure preparations are on track.

Zhukov, who has been a major figure responding to World Anti-Doping Agency allegations of widespread doping in Russian athletics, previously headed the IOC's evaluation commission assessing the bids for the 2022 Games.

Beijing defeated Almaty, Kazakhstan, in last year's vote to become the first city awarded both summer and winter games.

IOC President Thomas Bach said Zhukov's commission would focus on "sustainability and environmental protection."

Beijing has ranked among the world's most polluted cities, with air pollution periodically at levels considered dangerous to human health.

Other members of Zhukov's panel include International Ski Federation president Gian-Franco Kasper and Dmitry Chernyshenko, who headed the organizing committee for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Based on reporting by AP and TASS

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