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GLASNOST ON SPORTS

Soviet achievement in sports was often sought as a means of demonstrating political superiority.

5David Plotke, "Marxism and Democratic Theory," Dissent, 36 (Fall 1989), 343.

7Michael Walker, The Waking Giant (New York: Pantheon Books, Inc., 1986), 132.

9Plotke, 347. The Effects of Reform on Sports

The greatest effects on sports derived from reform in the Soviet Union have resulted from two factors. First, causing the bureaucracy to be subservient to elected representatives in the political sphere led to the virtual demise of the primacy of central planning. As a part of perestroika, major restructuring has been effected at the central planning level. Consolidation, streamlining, and a redefinition of responsibilities have been implemented. Gorbachev views these actions as strengthening the center, rather than diminishing its role. Under perestroika, the center will deal with higher level issues, while organizations will deal with nuts and bolts, and daily bread and butter issues.

In the absence of the primacy of central planning, individual athletes and sports organizations have been able to make their own decisions concerning the emphasis and direction of Soviet sports at the national and international levels.10 On the negative side, the absence of central planning in Soviet sports has meant that guaranteed funding at sufficient levels to assure international competitiveness has disappeared. Soviet sports under perestroika must stand in line with all other parties seeking governmental funding. More often than not, Soviet athletes and sports organizations in the era of reform are required to develop strategies for selffunding to supplement whatever may be obtained from the state.

10"A Breath of Fresh Air," The Economist, 31 January 1987, 42.

Second, providing power to the elected representatives, coupled with glasnost in public expression, has led to a mushrooming in the development of voluntary a...

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