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Former Russian Olympic Games official arrested by ICE in Florida

A former official with Russia's preparation efforts for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games has been arrested in Florida by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The Miami Herald reported Tuesday that sources confirmed the arrest of Akhmed Bilalov, former head of the Russian Olympic Committee, at his home in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla. Tuesday morning.

Bilalov's involvement in any criminal proceedings was unclear, but the Herald reports that he has been under suspicion in Russia for years of embezzling funds. It was not immediately known if Bilalov was arrested in relation to a Russian extradition request.

The official previously fled Russia after facing public criticism from Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of the 2014 games over increased construction delays and costs under his leadership. The Miami newspaper also reported that in an interview with The Guardian in 2013, Bilalov claimed that he had mercury poisoning, a tactic used by government agents to silence Putin critics. 

ICE officials did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill on Bilalov's arrest.

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