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Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Russian sports system is waiting for a major shake-up

Olimpiade-doping passions subsided, and the Kremlin is ready to “debriefing”. And mainly – not so much with international organizations, many with national sports officials. Uncovered is so serious defects of the national system of sports administration to close the eyes to them and delay their decision anymore.

Russian society has long grown accustomed to this President, as a tendency not to cut the heat of the moment, to give the problem to lie down and accept the decision with a cool head.

One of the painful topics that stirred Patriotic society all summer, was the scandal around the participation of our athletes in the Olympics and Paralympics. Action WADA, the International Paralympic Committee and other international sports organizations provoked a strong negative reaction in Russia.

Simultaneously, a little less public criticism was aroused and Russian sports officials. Doping scandal in the form as he occurred, was the direct result of their work. Prolonged stay of such a person as Grigory Rodchenkov, the head of the domestic anti-doping Agency is indefensible.

It’s been almost two months after the controversial sports of summer, the dust settled – and, it seems, the time of “debriefing”. In any case, it is this impression performance of the Russian President at the international sports forum “Russia – sports power” in the Vladimir region on October 11.

On the one hand, Vladimir Putin made clear that Russia will not forget what happened to international organizations. So sports organizations, staged anti-Russian hysteria and now trying to regain it back, can hardly count on the fact that they get away with it. Putin’s initiatives in relation to athletes, are legally receiving prohibited drugs (highlight them in a separate category in the competition), more like subtle mockery and also this hint.

On the other hand, the main emphasis in the President’s speech was made on the internal problems of Russia with sports and the need for their system solutions. Announced plans and decisions began personnel changes and numerous rumors promise a major shake-up of the entire Russian sports system.

Serious Wake-up call was the proposal to revise the costs of the state structures in professional sports, in order for these funds to increase funding of physical culture and mass sports. It is in the enormous funds poured by the government in professional sport, is largely rooted problems. From this source feeds a huge mass of useless and sometimes harmful sinecures, while the real needs of athletes are often under-funded.

If will cut Federal funding for unnecessary and useless subprofessionals structures operating near the Russian “Grand sport” is the most positive and direct impact on the improvement of the situation.

In addition, the sports environment lives with the expectation of large-scale structural and personnel changes. The first big change has already happened – the head of the Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov went to work in the State Duma. Although there are rumors that he may head a new sports authority is not predefined looks at the moment. Zhukov received the post of Vice-speaker of the state Duma and the President supported his decision to focus on work in Parliament. This personnel decision looks though honorable, but still the resignation and move aside Zhukov from the sports sphere – at least for a while.

While a full-scale redrawing of sports agencies and create in their place the Federal Agency at this point is refuted, but some changes, namely the empowerment of the Ministry of sports has already been officially confirmed.

Most interesting in this section is the situation around the Minister of sport Vitaly Mutko, who is traditionally the object of harsh criticism of the Russian society for his leadership of the Russian sports. The main question is whether to keep it for a post?

The press Secretary of the President leaves this question open: “I will not, of course, to predict any personal purpose, again, as you know, will appoint the President upon the recommendation of the Chairman of the government.”

The current practice of public administration and serious structural and personnel changes in Russia show that the Kremlin is guided by the principle “God’s mills grind slowly but very finely”.

Sports summer 2016 opened so serious problems and defects of the national system of sports administration to close the eyes to them and delay their decision anymore. Moreover, the disadvantages of working in the sports direct influence on “big politics” and even began to carry a threat to national security. But if the Kremlin is fixed idea is the security and defense capability of Russia, for which it is ready for the most drastic measures.

This means that very likely the Russian sports system is waiting for a comprehensive reform and significant personnel shake-up in accordance with the time requirements and national priorities.


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