March 31 - Russia's performance at the Vancouver Olympics last month has today been called "unsatisfactory" by the Upper House of the Russian Parliament as the fallout from the team's poor results shows no signs of abating.

Russia's Federation Council issued its verdict after hearing from under-fire Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, who claimed that the team's failure to win more than 15 medals, only three of them gold, was the "consequence of serious defects in the system for preparing athletes."

Mutko has so far managed to cling onto his job in a purge which has seen several top officials unseated, including Deputy Sports Minister Gennady Alyoshin and Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) President Leonid Tygachyov.

But this latest report from the Upper House, which is made up of representatives of each of Russia's 21 Republics puts further pressure on him to step down.

By contrast, the Council praised the Russian Paralympic team, who topped the Vancouver overall standings with 38 medals and were second in the gold medal count after Germany.

They said: "The success of its performance was determined by high-quality preparation of athletes and a balanced approach to the selection of coaches."

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has announced an investigation into how money provided by the Russian Government was used to prepare athletes for Vancouver.

He has warned that if he finds any evidence of corruption among the federations then there could be criminal action.

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