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Exclusive: Russian billionaire on US sanctions list still plans to be involved in organisation of SportAccord Convention


Senior SportAccord International Convention official member Arkady Rotenberg still plans to travel to Turkey next month for this year’s conference, despite being placed on a sanctions list by the United States.

The billionaire businessman was among 20 Russians placed under sanctions by the US last week.

President Barack Obama had threatened broad penalties against key sectors of Russia’s economy and businessmen with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin if Moscow annexed Crimea.

Arkady is a former long-time judo sparring partner of Putin’s and owns Stroygazmontazh, a builder of oil and gas pipeline projects for Russian state and private energy companies which was involved in the construction of facilities for Sochi 2014.

He has now been classified as on a list of “Specially Designated Nationals” by the US.

People on the list have their assets blocked and American persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them.

Rotenberg has denied that he has done anything illegal and plans to challenge the US decision.

He had been appointed to the Executive Committee of SportAccord International Convention last July following the election of Marius Vizer as President of SportAccord.

He is one of Russia’s most influential businessmen and is worth $4 billion (£2.5 billion/€3 billion), according to Forbes.

Arkady Rotenberg, a member of the Executive Committee of the SportAccord International Convention, is close to Vladimir Putin and is a former judo sparring partner of the Russian President ©Getty Images

Rotenberg is head of the International Judo Fund, which helps various development projects around the world, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Judo Federation, which Vizer is also President of.

He is also President of the multi-championship-winning hockey club Dynamo Moscow, which along with the football club of the same name, is owned by VTB Bank, which is run by his brother Boris, who is also on the list of those sanctioned by the US.

A source close to Rotenberg claimed the sanctions would not affect his plans and he was expecting to play a “full role” in final preparations for SportAccord International Convention, which is due to open in Belek/Antalya on April 6.

This article first appeared in www.insidethegames.biz and is reproduced with permission.


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