Posted: Wednesday April 10, 2013 10:56 AM

Russia charges ex-Olympic committee official

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MOSCOW (AP) - Russian prosecutors filed abuse of office charges against the former deputy head of the Russian Olympic Committee on Wednesday.

The move against Akhmed Bilalov came after he was criticized by President Vladimir Putin for delays and cost overruns in building the ski jump complex for the Sochi Olympics. Its cost soared from $40 million to $265 million and was behind schedule.

Bilalov was accused of signing contracts in violation of legal norms, failing to protect his company assets and spending too much on foreign trips, the prosecutor general's office said in a statement.

Bilalov led the company building the Olympic ski jump until the spring of 2012.

Following Putin's criticism in February, Bilalov resigned from the post of deputy chief of the Russian Olympic Committee and stepped down as the head of a state company that operates ski resorts in the Caucasus Mountains.

Prosecutors said their investigation alleged Bilalov wasted money on luxury travel abroad, including $65,000 in hotel bills for his visit to the London Olympics. The state company records indicated it simultaneously paid for his lodgings in several Russian cities.
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