Mikhail Prokhorov took over Russia's Biathlon Union three years ago, following failures in ski and rifle and a scandal in which the federation president was found guilty of attempted murder. In his only other sports venture, Prokhorov spent money on coaches, staff and technology...but always urged patience in rebuilding.
After a decent performance at the Vancouver Olympics --winning two of Russia's three gold medals-- the biathletes failed miserably this month in the Biathlon World Cup. There were calls from fans (and even the ousted former president) to fire the coach. On Monday, Prokhorov refused, taking on responsibility himself. Biathlon isn't the NBA, but his statement to reporters Monday was instructive about his philosophy in rebuilding.
"I take all the responsibility on myself," he said. "Go ahead and criticize. We're not afraid of criticism. I know we will achieve results and we will continue in this direction because I believe it is the only option. We will not be making changes in the coaching staff. They and the athletes have our complete trust. I know that all of them are concerned by the current situation and that it was a shock to many...A bad experience is also an experience and we will use it for our future victories."