If the hidden camera investigation of an amateur sleuth is anything to go by, there is a sex palace buried in the bowels of Kyrgyzstan’s national Sports Palace, the venue of many a prestigious tournament.
On January 9, news website Zanoza.kg posted videos and photos it said it received from an anonymous source who took an unsavory tour of the bathing section of the state-owned facility.
Among other things, the photos and footage clearly show a used condom on the ground within flinging distance of a grubby-looking bed. A warm sauna adjacent to this “resting room” is in a terrible-looking state and seems to have long ago ceased to be the main attraction. The video also features a conversation with a female attendant who says that while the Sports Palace does not provide prostitutes for clients, it doesn’t stop them from dropping by.
“Most of our clients are sportsmen, who do not use the services of prostitutes,” she clarified sniffily.
Reactions to the article were understandably couched in outrage.
One reader, posting under the name Ashki Bala, said: “Well just take a look at what our ‘controllers’ have done! We cannot let this slide. Let's keep on this and bring the matter to a close. They ruined our only Olympic swimming pool, sell [things] off and do whatever they want. It is a shame on our sport and this wonderful palace.”
Another anonymous commenter, who may or may not be a relative of the Sports Palace’s government-appointed director Edil Kasenov said: “All this was [happening] before the  appointment of Edil Kasenov — he alone cannot fight against a system that has been working for many years! After all [the alleged sex rooms benefit] high-ranking people who control everything and do not give permission to fully manage the sports facilities. He is not to blame. To my knowledge, he raised the question of getting rid of the saunas and the billiard room more than once, but was refused!”
Awkwardly, the allegations come at time when politicians are stressing moral virtue.
President Almazbek Atambayev, for instance, recently declared 2017 “The Year of Morality.”
More relevantly, parliament passed a law that went into effect at the end of last year banning the letting of flats on a daily and hourly basis.
The initiator of the law — MP Kozhobek Ryspayev of Atambayev’s Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan — equated such flats with brothels.
Critics of the law have argued that much of the sex that takes place in these abodes is of a non-commercial nature. Indeed, anybody who has had the misfortune of living next to these kinds of apartments — including this EurasiaNet.org correspondent — could attest to the fact that the clamorous couplings should not necessarily always be characterized as the outcome of one-off financial transactions.
The revelation that the high-ups of Kyrgyz sport are, in the best case scenario, turning a blind eye to licentious goings-on in their own building may cast the apartment legislation in less than flattering hues.
After all, as a jaded cynic might argue, since many apartment owners are likely to cease the practice of short-term letting rather than risk fines of more than $100, the government has succeeded merely in neutralizing rivals to its sexed-up Sports Palace.