Page last updated at 14:43 GMT, Monday, 1 March 2010

Russian Olympic officials should resign - Medvedev

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Photo: 1 March 2010
Mr Medvedev did not mention any names in his comments

President Dmitry Medvedev has called on Russian Olympic officials to resign, following the nation's worst ever performance in the winter games.

Those in charge of preparing Russian athletes for the Vancouver games "should take the brave decision and submit their resignations," he said.

"If they cannot do it, we will help them," Mr Medvedev added.

Russia - traditionally a winter sports powerhouse - ended 11th in the medals table, with just three golds.

"For a long time we have benefited from Soviet achievements, at some point they ran out," President Medvedev said at a meeting of the governing United Russia party on Monday.

Russian ice hockey players react after their defeat to Canada. Photo: 24 February 2010
Russia's men's ice hockey team lost a quarter-final to Canada 7-3

He urged a change to the system of preparing Russian athletes, ahead of the next Winter Olympics, in the southern Russian city of Sochi.

Russia has experienced a steady decline in its Olympic performances since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The games in Vancouver were particularly painful for the nation because of the failures in sports such as ice hockey and figure skating.

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CNN Medvedev calls for Olympic resignations - 6 hrs ago
Pravda Officials Responsible for Russia's Failure in Vancouver Will Have to Pay for It - 8 hrs ago
People's Daily Online Russian president demands changes in athlete training - 10 hrs ago
NPR Medvedev Wants Russia's Olympic Officials To Quit - 11 hrs ago
New York Times With Olympic Flame Out, Russia Fumes Over Its Athletes Showing - 12 hrs ago

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