The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has recognized the International Sambo Federation (FIAS) as one of the most efficient world sports federations in terms of the fight against doping abuse, FIAS President Vasily Shestakov said on Tuesday.
"We are in constant work on the fight against doping abuse," Shestakov said speaking at a news conference, hosted by TASS on Tuesday. "We have a letter from WADA, which acknowledges that FIAS is one of the best sports federations in terms of the fight against doping abuse."
"We constantly hold lectures for athletes, help WADA to negotiate with other federations and this fact speaks for their [WADA’s] great trust in us," the FIAS president stated.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued on November 30 its provisional recognition for Sambo as an Olympic sport, which can help the Russia-originated wrestling to officially enter the Olympic program in the future and to secure a financial assistance on behalf of the global Olympic body.
"There is still a lot of work to be done for us and we need to finalize the Sambo development’s strategy, which we must submit with the IOC," Shestakov said adding that "the IOC had proved once again that sports is beyond the politics."
"They [the IOC] have a sound view on the modern world developments," the FIAS chief said. "It helped us to be recognized."
Sambo wrestling originated in Russia in the 1920s, when soldiers of the then-Soviet Army developed their own hand-to-hand combat technique. The word Sambo is a Russian acronym, which stands for "self-defense without weapons."
According to most recent statistics, provided by the All-Russia Sambo Federation, over 500,000 Russians practiced Sambo as of today and the figure includes over 230,000 children.
Russian President Vladimir Putin stated in 2016, speaking about Sambo wrestling and its global perspectives, that the Russia-originated wrestling should be included in the Olympic program, but it would require a lengthy and labor-consuming period.
Shestakov also said that the FIAS had been always enjoying support from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is also the president emeritus of the FIAS, as the organization sought the recognition on behalf of the global Olympic body.
"I would like to particularly thank FIAS President Emeritus Vladimir Putin, as we have enjoyed his care and assistance in the promotion of the sport of Sambo and in the obtainment of our current status," Shestakov added.