Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Olympics [Print without images]

Sunday, December 22, 2013
Pardoned tycoon trumpets Sochi

Associated Press

BERLIN -- Mikhail Khodorkovsky says the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi are a "celebration of sport" that should not be damaged.

The former oil tycoon spent 10 years in jail on what the West considers trumped-up political charges by President Vladimir Putin's government.

He was pardoned Friday and flew to Berlin.

At a Berlin news conference Sunday, Khodorkovsky made clear that he isn't advocating a boycott of the Sochi Olympics. However, he also said the event "should not become a great party for President Putin."

Khodorkovsky told reporters that he will concern himself in the future with working to free Russian political prisoners but would not be "involved in the struggle for power."