NEW YORK, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Russia won the opportunity to host the 2014 Winter Olympics with the help of a top organized crime boss and heroin kingpin, a former British ambassador claims.
Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, told ABC News Gafur Rakhimov, publicly thanked by the Russian Olympic Committee when it secured the Olympics for Sochi, Russia, in 2007. Rakhimov is "one of the four of five most important people in the heroin trade in the world," he said.
"He's absolutely a very major and dangerous gangster," Murray added.
The committee tanked Rakhimov for his "single-minded work, without which it would have been hard for Sochi to count on the victory" by securing the votes of some Asian countries, ABC News said.
Rakhimov, 62, through a translator, confirmed he played a role in helping Russia win the votes.
Rakhimov moved to Dubai after he was indicted in Uzbekistan. In 2012, the U.S. Treasury Department sought to freeze his assets, describing him as a "key member" of a Russian-Asian heroin trafficking syndicate.