• Almaty offers traditional winter setting in 2022 Olympic bid

    FOR STORY 2022 BID - This photo taken on Friday, May  29, 2015, shows a central mosque in Almaty, Kazakhstan.  The ex-Soviet nation of Kazakhstan in Central Asia will be the first majority-Muslim country to host an Olympics if Almaty defeats its rival, Beijing, in voting July 31 to select the host venue of the 2022 winter games. (AP Photo/Pavel Mikheyev)

    ALMATY, Kazakhstan (AP) — Instead of grand talk about how the Olympics will break new ground by going to a majority-Muslim country for the first time, or by making their first visit to Central Asia, Almaty’s bid for the 2022 Winter Games is about tradition.

  • Russia’s synchro dynasty faces new wave of rivalries

    KAZAN, Russia (AP) — For years they’ve been the queens of the pool, but now Russia’s synchronized swimming stars are having to get used to something new – a fight for the gold.

  • Russia getting on with World Cup job as FIFA fights scandal

    This aerial view shows the construction site of the new Zenit Stadium, among proposed names are Zenit Arena or Gazprom Arena, which will host some of the matches of the 2018 World Cup in St. Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, July 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

    ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — As he shared the stage with FIFA’s departing president Sepp Blatter, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s message was simple. FIFA may be in chaos, but Russia is getting on with the job.

  • World Cup at center of Gazprom’s sponsorship empire

    A plane flies past an emblem of the 2018 World Cup near the Konstantin Palace in St.Petersburg, Russia, Friday, July 24, 2015, on the eve of the Preliminary draw for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

    ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — As FIFA descends on St. Petersburg for the World Cup preliminary draw Saturday, it is entering the capital of a sponsorship empire.