ROME Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini has blamed the winter sports federations for the country's disappointing performances at the Vancouver Olympics.
"I ask how it's possible to expect the athletes to concentrate on important objectives, free their minds of worries, when (in some cases) they are asked to pay the travel costs to training," Frattini told Tuesday's La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"And then, with financial sacrifices to make, they send federation executives to Vancouver with their wives. It's senseless."
Italy won five medals at the Winter Olympics, with Giuliano Razzoli taking their only gold in the men's slalom.