Firstly, some facts about Vitaly Mutko. He was born on December 8, 1958 in the Apsheronsky District. He began work as a technician on shipping vessels in 1977. After becoming involved in local politics, he rose to the position of Deputy Mayor of Saint Petersburg in 1992.
Two years later, with the assistance of the head of the Mayor’s Committee for External Relations, Mutko organised the Goodwill Games, the first major sporting event in Russia following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Two keynotes were thus established in the career of this controversial politician - activity in the sporting sphere, and a working relationship with the head of the Mayor’s Committee for External Relations, namely the current Russian President, Vladimir Putin.
In recent years, facts have been harder to discern when it comes to the actions and responsibilities of Mutko, whose former position as President of the Russian Football Union (RFU) - vacated by him in December - is due to be filled officially on Friday (February 22).
(Don’t hold your breath for any dramatic election action – only one candidate has been put forward by the Russian Premier League, namely Alexander Dyukov.)
Other things we know about Mutko: in 2005 he became President of the RFU; five years later, by which time he was also a member of the FIFA executive committee, he chaired the successful Russian bid for the 2018 World Cup Finals.
In 2012 he was appointed by Putin as Minister for Sport, Tourism and Youth Affairs, a position he held until he was promoted to becoming a Deputy Prime Minister on October 19 in 2016. He had thus been in post during the final preparations and highly-successful hosting of the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi.
All positive facts so far for the man who played a crucial part in delivering Russia’s self-styled "Decade of Sport", with the Olympic and World Cup hostings as its twin jewels. But there are other facts to consider.
On December 5, 2017, the former Sports Minister was given a lifetime ban by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after being implicated in a Russian doping scandal.
At the same time, the IOC ruled that Russian athletes would not be allowed to compete under their own flag at Pyeongchang 2018 and ordered that the Russian Olympic Committee must pay $15million (£11.5 million/€13.5 million) in costs after making what was described by the IOC President Thomas Bach as an "unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport".
Mutko was excluded from "any participation in all future Olympic Games" following the publication of the final report of the IOC’s Schmid Commission, set up to examine whether there was an "institutional conspiracy" by Russian officials with the Ministry of Sport to corrupt London 2012 and Sochi 2014.
The Schmid Commission concluded that there had been a "systemic manipulation of the anti-doping system in Russia" and it had come under the authority of the Russian sports ministry.
The IOC President, Thomas Bach, told a press conference: "The report clearly lays out an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport. As an athlete myself, I am feeling very sorry for all the clean athletes who have suffered from this manipulation."
An accompanying IOC Commission chaired by Denis Oswald to look specifically at reports of Russian doping during Sochi 2014, had also reported wrongdoing and begun recommending retrospective bans.
Both Commissions had been set up in the wake of a report published in July 2016 by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren on behalf of the World Ant-Doping Agency.
The McLaren report concluded that Russia’s Government, security services and sporting authorities had colluded to hide widespread doping across "a vast majority" of winter and summer sports.
A second report by McLaren in December 2016 asserted that more than 1,000 Russian athletes had been involved in, or benefited from, state-sponsored doping.
McLaren’s report was based in large part on evidence supplied by the former head of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, Grigory Rodchenkov, who defected in 2016 and is now living in protected conditions somewhere in the United States.
Additional evidence was supplied by Russian middle distance athlete Yulia Stepanova, who is also living under protection in the US.
The Oswald Commission concluded that Rodchenkov was a "truthful witness".
The IOC ban, which prevented Mutko attending Pyeongchang 2018 that began just over two months later, was imposed because it was decided that, as head of the Ministry of Sport, he was ultimately responsible for doping infractions - albeit that he was linked directly to only one doping case in the Schmid Report.
"In one exchange of emails between [ex Moscow Laboratory director] Mr Grigory Rodchenkov and [analyst and advisor to the Deputy Minister for the Centre of Sports Preparation of National Teams of Russia] Mr Alexey Velkodniy regarding a footballer, Mr Velikodniy mentioned that "the decision is with VL [Vitaly Leonid Mutko] for consideration and approval (YD is going to see VL today)," one section said.
"This single reference could not be considered as sufficient to demonstrate the personal involvement of the then Minister of Sport."
The report later added: "Nevertheless, the independent and impartial evidence do not allow the IOC DG to establish with certitude either who initiated or who headed this scheme.
"On many occasions, reference was made on the involvement at the Minister of Sport's level, but no indication, independent or impartial evidence appeared to corroborate any involvement or knowledge at a higher level of the State."
A punishment for the Sports Ministry was justified anyway by the IOC, however, as it was deemed to hold the ultimate responsibility.
"The operational side of the fight against doping, regulation and practical terms, was under the authority of the Russian Ministry of Sport, according to the Governmental structure; therefore, the then Minister of Sport has to bear the major part of the administrative responsibility," the Schmid Report said.
In the days before the IOC ban was announced, Mutko was vocal in defence of his, and Russia’s, cause.
He told Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, known for its critical coverage of Russian politics: "Serious aspersions have been cast on Russian sport and, what is worse, on the Sochi Olympics…the core of this campaign…is to discredit Russian sport."
In the same interview he described Rodchenkov as a "crazy informer".
And on December 1 in 2017, as he sat alongside the FIFA President Gianni Infantino on the day of the official FIFA World Cup draw in Moscow, Mutko once again expressed himself fully on the subject of doping allegations against Russia.
The Russian Deputy Prime Minister, also President of the Russia 2018 Organising Committee, stunned onlookers as he criticised the Western media, the IOC and the continued "trampling" of Russia as a nation.
"Everyone is trying to make some kind of axis of evil out of us," he claimed, accusing journalists of "distorting reality" when reporting on Russia’s doping scandal.
Mutko insisted there was "no proof" of state-sponsored doping, adding: "I’m happy to go to any court, to any disciplinary committee, to anyone and I’ll be happy to talk about how there has never been and will never be any state programmes related to doping in this country.
"We do not need to do that and we have never done it. Let's openly display all the facts.
"We are playing by the rules."
He did not at this point make any acknowledgement of the partial admission that had been made nine months earlier by President Putin that Russia’s anti-doping system had "failed".
Putin told local news agencies: "The Russian system to prevent doping failed, and that is our fault.
"We have to say that openly and accept that...thoroughly investigate the problem and punish those responsible."
But he added: "Russia has never had...a state system supporting doping."
In the wake of the IOC ban, Mutko was officially replaced as head of the Organising Committee for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia by Alexey Sorokin.
He also stepped down from his role as RFU President in order to concentrate on trying to overturn his Olympic ban, although he would later effectively return to the position later in 2018.
In January 2018 the Court of Arbitration for Sport confirmed that Mutko had filed an appeal, but ruled out the possible lifting of his Olympic ban because it had not received a request to hear his appeal before Pyeongchang 2018.
Russian media outlet R-Sport reported that the CAS statement read: "The Mutko appeal procedure will end after the Winter Olympics, as there was no request for expedited consideration."
In May 2018 Mutko’s official Government role in sport ended when he was replaced as Sports Minister by Olga Golodets and assigned a new role as Deputy Prime Minister for construction.
Nobody has disputed that the Russian versions of the two biggest sporting events on earth were great while they lasted. And nobody disputes that Mutko was a formidable political force in making both Sochi 2014 and FIFA 2018 World Cup finals happen.
Nobody disputes either the fact that Mutko has managed to survive statements and scrapes that would have halted other political careers in their tracks.
One of his questionable public statements involved a claim that female Russian ice hockey players who had tested positive could have obtained male DNA within their urine samples via sexual intercourse.
He found himself facing numerous awkward questions in the summer of 2010, including calls for him to resign as Sports Minister, after it emerged that he claimed expenses for the equivalent of five breakfasts a day while he was attending the Winter Olympics in Vancouver earlier in the year.
The Russian team had its worst ever Winter Games performance in Canada - eleventh place - an outcome that was very thoroughly, expensively and it appears questionably altered four years later in Sochi, where Russia finished top of the medals table with 33 medals, including 13 golds.
Mutko was already facing questions following details of an investigation carried out by the Audit Chamber and ordered by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had revealed that his hotel suite during the Games in Canada cost $1,500 (£986) a night - more than ten times what he was legally allowed to claim under Government rules.
The total bill for Mutko's 20-day trip to Vancouver and his two deputies was $34,000 (£22,000/€30,000).
It was then revealed that Mutko claimed for an additional $4,500 (£2,959/€3900) during his stay for 97 breakfasts - which translates to nearly five a day.
At the time there was widespread speculation that Putin would have forced Mutko to resign after Vancouver if it were not for the fact that he was central to Russia’s bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The Audit Chamber report also accused sports officials of embezzling money allocated for athletes and sports equipment, adding extra people to the Olympic delegation at the state's expense, hiring incompetent coaches and selling overpriced tickets to fans.
Medvedev had warned when launching the Audit that if it uncovered any evidence of criminal activity then officials would be prosecuted.
But the report did not say how much money went missing, and said no officials had been identified who could be charged with wrongdoing.
"There is no single body in Russia responsible for the training and participation of Russian teams in the Olympic Games ... that can be held responsible," the report said.
Mutko denied accusations of misspending, calling them "speculation" and "total rubbish".I got a brief personal glimpse of his style after a press conference he had attended in the days before Moscow’s hosting of the International Association of Athletics Federations 2013 World Championships - another of the sporting jewels assembled by Russia.
After managing to buttonhole him as he left the conference room I noticed, as the translator laboured over my opening question about the imminent Championships, how the expression under those bushy eyebrows darkened with impatience.
The answer was short. By halfway through my second question, Mutko was already making his excuses and moving on.
On June 7 last year, during his annual phone-in with the media, Putin responded to questions about his long-term political ally by insisting it would be "impossible" to fire him given the international criticism after his role in the country's doping scandal.
Putin was asked in an apparently light-hearted manner whether he would support portraits of the Deputy Prime Minister being painted onto Russian warships to make them “unsinkable".
Putin began his response by claiming that Russian ships were "already unsinkable" before defending Mutko's role and implying that he would not consider sending him into retirement to avoid the appearance of an international concession.
"I would like to draw your attention to the fact that his English language certainly needs to be improved, but during his years as a Minister of Sport, and then a Vice-Premier [Deputy Prime Minister], a lot has been done in this area," he said, according to news outlet Championat.
"It is enough to see what and how much is built in the sphere of sport and physical culture. It is necessary to address not to the emotional aspects of his activity, but to the actual. If we analyse it realistically, we will see that a lot has been done."
Putin noted Mutko’s roles with Sochi 2014 and the 2018 World Cup, saying of the construction of stadiums for the latter event: "It's pretty much Mutko - I understand everything, but I do not proceed from emotional assessments, but from realities.
"But there is one more point.
"All this informational attack on him connected with doping from the West was incredible and this is also one of the reasons why it was impossible to send Mutko on pension.
"Besides, he has big potential and will need to work hard on his new position."
As responses go, it was surely less than reassuring. But Mutko, as of now, continues to play a central role in Russian political life.
Like Sir Christopher Wren, he could invite anyone requiring a monument to his efforts simply to look around them. While there remain many expensive questions still unanswered about its financing, Russia’s new, concrete sporting legacy is vast and unquestionable.
Many, however, will see in Mutko a monument to a decade when Russia’s towering sporting achievements were besmirched by doping, and the denial of doping.