Russian deputy prime minister Dimitry Kozak might have put his foot in his mouth Thursday.
Kozak, speaking with reporters on the first day of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, disputed the widespread claims of dreadful hotel conditions made by reporters from around the world.
He accused journalists of having a bias against Russia and deliberately trying to sabotage the Sochi Games with damning reports, but his defense included one curious sentence.
“We have surveillance video from the hotels that shows people turn on the shower, direct the nozzle at the wall and then leave the room for the whole day,” Kozak said, according the The Wall Street Journal.
One of Kozak’s aides pulled a reporter away before the deputy prime minister could answer any follow-up questions, and a spokesman for Kozak later said there is “absolutely no surveillance in hotel rooms or bathrooms occupied by guests.” A senior official for one of the companies responsible for building Sochi’s hotels echoed this statement, saying surveillance was only present during the construction and cleaning of the buildings.
Kozak also said in his press conference that there have been just 103 registered complaints from the 100,000 guests currently housed in Sochi, and “every one of those is being taken care of.”
There’s a chance that Kozak’s initial statement about shower surveillance only sounds strange out of context. But either way, it’s not a good look for an Olympic host city that’s already buried under a mountain of controversy.
Hat tip to SB Nation
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