Putin Prescribes Viagra to Critics of Russian Student Games Haul

President Vladimir Putin advised critics of Russia’s performance at the World University Games, where it finished first with six times as many gold medals as China, to try the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra.

“I’d like to advise them to take up sports and go see a doctor if they have any health issues,” Putin, 60, told reporters near Moscow today when asked about criticism that Russia fielded Olympic medal winners at the games organized for university athletes. “At the end of the day, maybe they should try Viagra. Then life would improve, reveal some of its bright, beautiful sides, and they would see the future.”

Russia’s record haul at the Kazan Universiade games, which ended on July 17, put the spotlight on its use of 18 gold-medal winners from the Olympics, according to the New York Times. The performance was ridiculed by Russian media including the Vedomosti business newspaper, which said the lopsided results turned the competition into the “massacre of the innocents.”

The Russians ended the 11 days of competition in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan on the Volga river, with 155 gold medals under their belt. China was second with 26 golds, followed by Japan with 24.

Putin is a black belt in judo known for physical stunts such as riding a horse bare-chested, shooting a tiger with a tranquilizer gun and piloting a plane dousing water over wildfires. He announced last month he was divorcing his wife Lyudmila after 30 years of marriage.

-- Editors: Paul Abelsky, Patrick Henry

To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Corcoran in Moscow at jcorcoran13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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