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17 Apr, 2008 07:47

Sochi Games’ building chief retires

The head of the company responsible for building the sporting venues of 2014 Winter Olympics, Semyon Vainshtok, has retired. His departure was announced at a meeting with Russian Prime Minister, Viktor Zubkov.

Vainshtok is an experienced businessman who formerly ran the pipeline monopoly Transneft.

He has been replaced by the Mayor of the host city of Sochi, Viktor Kolodyazhny.

The government had aimed for a budget of around $US 13 billion to prepare Sochi for the Olympics.

But several experts – including Vainshtok – have said that’s an underestimation and that the eventual cost will be much higher.

Officials have been quick to reassure the public that the project is still on track.

They say the retirement was planned and the whole team behind the project will continue working as before.