Fyodorov Reinstated In National Sports Fund

Boris Fyodorov is back in the game.

Six months after being fired from the presidency of the National Sports Fund, five months after being stabbed and shot in an apparent attempted contract killing, and three weeks after his "sleaze war" with former presidential bodyguard Alexander Korzhakov, Fyodorov has come nearly full circle, named Thursday as a vice president of the National Sports Fund.

According to today's Izvestia, Fyodorov requested to be returned to his former NSF post because he had been improperly fired. A lawyer supported his claim, and after some legal acrobatics at a closed-door session during which Fyodorov was reinstated as president and immediately resigned, he was chosen one of two vice presidents.

Meanwhile, Olympic Committee vice president and former Olympic diver Vladimir Vasin was chosen president of the fund, and erstwhile president Sergei Leonyuk was pushed down one rung to first vice president.

Fyodorov will have a two-month probationary period, during which he has pledged to see to the return of the fund's "disappeared" $100 million.

The NSF, originally set up to promote and financially support sports, earned hundreds of millions of dollars from presidentially approved import tariff exemptions, starting in 1993. It became Russia's major importer of cigarettes and alcoholic beverages.

Fyodorov was forced out of the presidency after a May 21 arrest on narcotics charges, and was replaced by Valery Streletsky, a former KGB colonel and a department head in Korzhakov's security service. On the night of June 18, Fyodorov was shot and stabbed.

On June 20, then-presidential campaign adviser Anatoly Chubais publicly mused about Korzhakov and Streletsky's role in the arrest and subsequent attack on Fyodorov.

The matter came to a head earlier this month when Fyodorov accused Korzhakov of trying to extort $40 million and said it was likely that Korzhakov had a hand in the attack.

New NSF president Vasin pledged to run a clean operation.

"Yes, the fund is a commercial structure," he said. "But all its commercial activity should be directed toward sports. And it should be done openly."