Russian official turfed from Sochi Olympic effort facing criminal charges

Russian prosecutors on Wednesday filed abuse of office charges against the former deputy head of the Sochi Olympic Committee.

Akhmed Bilalov ousted earlier this year

Ahmed Bilalov, seen in 2011, was a longtime Kremlin aide before the recent Sochi Olympic controversy. (Michel Euler/Associated Press)

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 US 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 also 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. At the same time, the state company records indicated it simultaneously paid for his lodgings in several Russian cities.

Some Russian media have interpreted Bilalov's downfall as part of infighting between Kremlin clans.