Police search Russian football club in graft probe

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Russian police on Wednesday searched the offices of first division club FC Tom Tomsk as part of an investigation into suspected graft, the Russian news agency INterfax reported.

"A search was conducted at Tom Tomsk football club to find documents on its financial activities. This is a first step for the investigators," Tomsk police spokeswoman Natalia Oustimenko said.

The probe is over a suspected case of misappropriation involving large sums of money, she said without elaborating.

The Siberian club currently sits 12th in the table of Russia's elite football league after 19 games.

Last month, the powerful head of the national audit office, Sergei Stepashin, charged that the Russian football league was plagued by match-fixing and had asked for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's help in tackling the problem.

© 2011 AFP

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