The Wall Street Journal takes a look at how Mikhail Prokhorov fixed the Russia's biathlon program...and finds hope for the New Jersey Nets. As the Journal reports, no sports program was in as bad shape as the Russian Biathlon Union was when Prokhrov took over in 2008. Its president had resigned in 2007 after being convicted of plotting to murder a politician. Two months after Prokhorov took over, three biathletes were found to have been involved in doping. It was an ugly downfall for a program that under the Soviet Union had won every Olympic gold medal in the sport...ever. By Vancouver, the program had turned around. Biathletes won twice as many golds as the rest of Russia's Olympic team...two.
It wasn't the first time Prokhorov had been asked to take over a dying franchise. Ten years earlier, he rescued CSKA Moscow, taking it from near-bankruptcy to two Euroleague championships and six Russian league championships. Now he's faced with turning around the Nets. How will he do it? Not just with money. Sergey Kushenko, his No. 2 in the union, explains. "Money is a tool to create thoughtful, professional staff," he says. "His style is to invite the best professionals from this or that field, and create a sophisticated, detailed system, use modern technologies and be sure to bring the project to a positive result."
It's Prokhorov to the Rescue! - Reed Albergotti - Wall Street Journal