VLADIMIR, October 11. /TASS/. The International Sambo Federation (FIAS) has officially submitted its application with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) requesting to include the Russian-originated wrestling format in the official Olympic program, a Russian sports official said on Tuesday.
"We have submitted a request on Tuesday asking to include Sambo on the list of the Olympic program," Sergey Yeliseyev, the president of the All-Russia Sambo Federation, said.
"I would like to stress that the sport of Sambo was already included in the programs of such major international competitions as the European and Asian Games, the Universiade and SportAccord Martial Art and Combat Games," Yeliseyev added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday addressing a session of the Presidential Council on the Physical Development and Sport that maximum efforts should be implied to make Sambo wrestling enter the program of the Olympic Games
"Sambo wrestling is one of the candidates viewed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and we need to do everything possible to make this popular and spectacular martial art to enter the Olympic program," Putin said.
The Russian president said the inclusion of Sambo would be require a lengthy and labor-consuming period "but we need to be thinking about it and working on it," because this issue is in the country’s interests.
Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Rashid Nurgaliyev told TASS earlier Russia is soon likely to see the introduction of Sambo wrestling in the Olympic program despite high competitiveness from other sports disciplines.
"There are people, who are lobbying other sports disciplines," Nurgaliyev, who is also the head of the Sambo development working group, said.
"I believe that all 100 countries, which are developing Sambo and all followers of the wrestling have the right for Sambo to be included in the Olympic program," Nurgaliyev said adding that there is also "high competitiveness."
According to the All-Russia Sambo Federation a total of some 500,000 Russians are practicing Sambo, including about 230,000 children. Sambo wrestling originated in Russia in the 1920s, when soldiers of the then-Soviet Army developed their own hand-to-hand combat technique.