Construction chief hired

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Sergei Gaplikov, a deputy head of Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin's staff, has been hired as the new construction chief for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

Gaplikov, 40, has replaced Taimuraz Bolloev as the head of the state–run Olimpostroy corporation after the previous chief stepped down due to health reasons. In mid–February 2011, athletes will arrive in Sochi for the first test events ahead of the 2014 Games. Gaplikovs appointment came after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) insisted that the departure of Bolloev would not impact preparations for the Sochi Games. In a statement released to the Associated Press, the IOC thanked Bolloev for his hard work and dedication and added: A lot of progress has been made and we are confident that the structures put in place by Sochi 2014 and the Russian government will ensure that his departure will not impact on the progress currently being made.

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