MOSCOW, May 20 (UPI) -- Russian energy giant Gazprom says it will give the Russian Olympic Committee $130 million to help get athletes ready for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
"The money is allocated for special purpose programs as a supplement to other financial means provided by the state via the sports ministry and the Russian sports training center," ROC President Alexander Zhukov said on the ROC Web site.
Zhukov said a similar gift was given to Canada for the same purpose at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, helping it finish first in medal standings.
Russia won just three gold medals in the 2010 games and finished 11th in the medal standings.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, speaking to senior sports officials responsible for Russia's poor showing, asked them to "make a courageous decision" and step down.
The ROC, hoping to avoid another failure, invited three leading sports experts to devise training programs to improve the Russian Olympic team's performance, RIA Novosti reported.