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Sochi Winning Gold Medal in Corruption

AP Photo

The most surprising aspect about the problems besetting the 2014 Winter Olympics is not that they will be the most expensive Olympics ever staged, but why.

Sochi, Russia, will host the chilliest season's quadrennial showpiece 12 months from now in what Russian President Vladimir Putin has described as "an extravaganza beyond compare."

Yet as anti-corruption and human rights groups train their eyes ever more keenly on the event and its increasing glut of negative publicity, even a politician as skilled in bluster as Putin can only hope to quell the growing level of discontent.

More than $50 billion will be spent on hosting the 17-day multi-sport competition, dwarfing the spending on London's 2012 Summer Olympics ($14.4 billion) and even...

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