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Manufacturing Official Criticizes Russia's Olympic Outfitters

A regional manufacturing official has criticized Russia's official Olympic outfitter of failing to do its bit for the country as most of its garments have been made abroad, a news report said.

"Why are millions of our citizens dressing at Bosco?" the Saratov region's Manufacture and Energy Minister Sergei Lisovsky said at a meeting with his officials on Wednesday, Vzglyad-Info reported. "Why shouldn't they wear garments that have been made at our factories?"

Bosco di Ciliegi, the Games' official clothing sponsor and the manufacturer of the Games uniforms, is a Russian company, but most of its garments are made in Italy, China and Turkey.

Lisovsky praised the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan and Belarus for dressing their athletes in domestically manufactured clothing, adding that "only Ukraine took the same path as we did, but we shouldn't follow Ukraine's example." Ukraine has been gripped by massive anti-government protests for months, and Moscow has accused the country's opposition of being bankrolled from abroad.

Some enterprising businessmen have tried to produce Russian Olympic garments domestically — the only problem being that their labels are counterfeit. Last spring, police shut down several sweatshops in and around Moscow for making fake Bosco garments emblazoned with "Sochi-2014" logos, the Interior Ministry said.

American designer Ralph Lauren, who supplies the uniforms for the U.S. Olympic team, came in for much criticism during the 2012 London Olympics, when it became known that most of the garments were made overseas. The U.S. uniforms for the Sochi Olympics have been made in America, The Associated Press reported.

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