An Italian court has ordered the extradition to the US of an alleged gangster accused of fixing figure skating results at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
The court decided on extradition, but we plan to appeal
Tokhtakhounov lawyer, Luca Saldarelli
Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, aged 53, was arrested in Venice in July, after US prosecutors claimed he conspired to bribe judges to hand gold medals to Russian figure-skaters and French dancers.
Italian police began tapping his telephone during a wider investigation of organised crime.
When they overheard conversations concerning the Olympics, they passed them to the US.
The charges laid against Mr Tokhtakhounov by a US Grand Jury accuse him of seeking to win the favour of French authorities in order to get his French visa extended.
Tokhtakhounov: Russian citizen born in Uzbekistan
His lawyers have said they will appeal once the court explains the reasons for its decision.
If convicted in the US, he could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of five charges.
The victory of the Russian figures skaters Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze caused an outcry in Salt Lake City.
The Russian team only beat Canadians Jamie Sale and David Pelletier by the slimmest of margins.
A day after the medals were awarded, French judge Marie-Reine Le Gougne admitted she had been pressurised by French figure skating President Didier Gailhaguet to put the Russians first.
Operation 'East Money'
Both were banned for three years, and the International Olympic Committee took the unprecedented step of awarding gold to the Canadian pair too.
Mr Tokhtakhounov is a Russian citizen born in Uzbekistan, whom US officials have alleged to be a "major figure in international Eurasian organised crime".
He was arrested during a search of his home in an upmarket Tuscan coastal region by financial police investigating Russian mafia investments, in an operation code-named East Money.