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to: Matthew Muller

Sports is more than just a hobby for Russian President Vladimir Putin (69). Oligarchs are closely associated with the judoka (photo archive 2019). © Mikhail Klementiev / Imago

Russian President Vladimir Putin (69) has some allies in sports. For decades, Putin was not only a major figure in football. Few stand by Judoka Putin.

Munich – And Demir Putin (69) Black belt holder. On his 60th birthday, he was awarded the 8th Dan Award at Masters level by the International Judo Federation (IJF) – as the first ever Russian. It was awarded to him by IJF President Marius Fizer (64). Roman is one of the many sports friends of the Russian president. In cycling, fencing, chess, archery, and boxing, Russian oligarchs (see below) are at the forefront of clubs as athletes for Putin. Through Gazprom and other investors, the head of the Kremlin has also penetrated deep into the football network. Why does he do all this? Make!

Putin often stirs up patriotic sentiments. Athletes are celebrated as champions and their successes help highlight performance.”

Putin often stirs up patriotic sentiments. Athletes are celebrated as champions, and their successes highlight performance,” says Robert Quimby, who has been reporting on the links between sport and politics in both ARD and WDR for ten years. It is no coincidence that he pitches his followers in associations. Says Quimby, who He was able to test for himself before the 2018 World Cup how far Putin’s arm could go: “He wants to be influential and keep in touch.” Shortly before the tournament began, Russia withdrew his accreditation after a “background check” after the federation promised him The fact that Putin’s plan succeeded in the rankings of the International Olympic Committee’s “Around the Rings” website, which ranked him as the second most influential person in the sport in 2014, was granted again after repeated requests from his employer. .

Kembe does not believe that the current developments in Ukraine will weaken his position and that of Russia: “Sport is not known for critical handling of its sponsors. As the example of China shows, it finds it difficult to take a clear position on the issue of human rights.”

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The conflict between Russia and Ukraine: UEFA keeps the back door open in the CL Final in Saint Petersburg

It would be easy for UEFA, for example, to move the final match of the premier football club from Saint Petersburg to another place. President Aleksander Ceferin (54) should not be too keen on this. The Slovenian, who also wears a black belt, came to the throne out of nowhere in 2016. The scandal-ridden 63-year-old former Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko is said to have protected and supported him. Moreover, Gazprom, the main sponsor of Zenit Saint Petersburg, is the premium partner of the UEFA Champions League. The handling of the state-organised Olympic doping scandal in Sochi in 2014 also shows that Russia ultimately has nothing to fear from its repercussions. The Court for Sport cut its rather soft sentences in half from four to two years.

The power of sports: In 2023, the World Ice Hockey Championship will be held in St. Petersburg

After all, Russia is not allowed to host any major events until the end of 2022. Indeed. European Football Championship 2021 matches are not included – a small loophole. The same applies to Formula 1 and the World Volleyball Championship in 2022. In 2023 the World Ice Hockey Championship will be held in St. Petersburg. This is where Putin has his element. On his 63rd birthday, he hosted a match in his honor. Putin’s team won 15:10, the president scored seven goals. Also present: former professionals, politicians and some oligarchs.

Russia’s oligarchs: great fortune, no scruples – one would think he was in space with extraterrestrials

Men of world sports: head fencing Alisher Usmanov, boxing coach Omar Krimlev, football investor Roman Abramovich, head of chess Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, cycling coach Igor Viktorovich Makarov.

  • Duel, Alisher Usmanov (68, estimated net worth: $16.8 billion, Media Qutb): At first. Alisher Usmanov can only be a person of fundamental integrity. Because Thomas Bach, full-time president of the International Olympic Committee and part-time dictator, congratulated “my friend Alisher Usmanov on his re-election as president of the FIE”. From 2008 until at least 2024 Usmanov headed the International Fencing Federation. Bach not only gave warm words, but also gave the “International Olympic Committee Trophy for Olympic Values”.

    Alexei Noalny* Usmanov, a shareholder in Arsenal, was accused of financing the Kremlin. Usmanov responded with a video of his 154-meter yacht, in a loud voice Watchman “I spit on you,” he said. Usmanov wrote to the World Anti-Doping Agency that the “merciless fight” against doping “must not turn into an extrajudicial killing.” The 68-year-old is said to own several villas in Tegernsee and have invested in Everton FC.

  • Boxin, Omar Krimlev (39): President of the International Amateur Boxing Association (IBA) since 2020. He was formerly called Omar Lotfolio and was a member of the rock band Night Wolves. Almost all debts of the associations (about 16 million euros) were paid off with the help of Gazprom.
  • Footballer Roman Abramovich (55, net worth $12.6 billion).: In the book Putin’s People, writer Catherine Bilton (2007-2013 Moscow correspondent for financial times), Putin commissioned Abramovich to buy Chelsea FC in 2003 in order to increase Russia’s influence abroad. Abramovich sued him. But he will not get rid of the persistent rumors.
  • Chess, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (59): According to several interviews with him, he is sure that he traveled through space with extraterrestrials in 1997. The former politician from the Russian Republic of Kalmykia and a confidant of Putin headed the World Chess Federation from 1995 to 2018. Ilyumzhinov, as head of FIDE, met with Saddam Hussein and played chess with Muammar Gaddafi. Because of his business contacts in Syria, Ilyumzhinov is on the US sanctions list. Arkady Dvorkovich took over the Chess Federation. Russian politician who was one of Putin’s five personal advisers from 2008 to 2012. When the FIDE president is elected, each member state has one vote. It is said that Ilyumzhinov won the countries voting on his side with gifts and promises.
  • Cycling, Igor Viktorovich Makarov (59, estimated net worth $2.1 billion, oil and gas business): “His life is the culmination of pure dedication, mental strength and unwavering commitment.” This is how Igor Makarov describes himself on his website. Makarov from 1979 to 1986 participated in competitions as a cyclist and was – according to the site – part of the Olympic team of the USSR. In 2008, Makarov founded the Katusha cycling team (now Katusha-Alpecin, the image of the Kremlin can be seen on T-shirts for a while), from 2010 to 2016 he was the head of the Russian Cycling Federation, since 2011 he has been a member of the World Cycling Union Council UCI.

    Makarov, as the German publicist Jürgen Roth said, “can count himself among the inner circle of Vladimir Putin.” The oligarch has numerous allegations of money laundering and mafia connections. The FBI investigated him in 2002 about a possible bribery of a member of the US Congress. Interesting: in the Ibiza video, which began with the downfall of the then Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz Christian Strache, the decoy pretended to be Makaru’s niece. Then the billionaire expressed his anger and made it clear that he was the only boy.

  • Shooting, Vladimir Lisin (65, net worth $31 billion, steel magnate).: In 2018, Vladimir Lisin triumphed at the General Assembly in Munich as the new president of the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF). Lesin became president of the Russian Shooting Federation in 2002 and has also headed the European Shooting Confederation since 2009. The 65-year-old is also a member of the Russian Olympic Committee and, surprisingly, has close relations with Putin.
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