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Russia still has to do a lot for mass sports development, says Putin

"We have made obvious progress as the number of people regularly practicing physical culture and sports is on the rise," the Russian leader noted

MOSCOW, May 15. /TASS/. Russia still has to do a lot to achieve its targets in mass sports and physical culture development, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.

"We need to do a lot in the sphere of mass sports and physical culture development," the president said at a meeting with former Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin. "There is still work to do."

"We have made obvious progress as the number of people regularly practicing physical culture and sports is on the rise," Putin continued. "However, we have not yet achieved the figures optimal for us and the goals set previously."

"But, we will certainly achieve everything and with your participation," Putin added, speaking with Matytsin.

On December 25, 2023, Putin signed a decree that stipulates a concept of the "amateur sports" and it gives the right to sports federations to organize amateur tournaments. According to the decree, amateur sports is a part of mass sports aimed at organizing and holding sports competitions that are not related to the preparations of Russian sports national teams as well as national teams of Russia’s constituent entities.

According to the document, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC), the Russian Committee of Deaf Sports and the Russian Special Olympics committee will have the right to finance the participation of foreign athletes in tournaments on the territory of Russia and abroad.

This year Russia is set to host a number of large-scale sports tournaments including the 2024 BRICS Games and the World Friendship Games.

2024 BRICS Games

The 2024 BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Games will be held in Kazan on June 12-23 and will feature events in 20 different sports.

In mid-May 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the government to submit proposals for organizing and holding the 2024 BRICS Games in Russia.

Oleg Matytsin, who served as the Russian sports minister at that time, emphasized later that the BRICS Games were not meant to rival any other competitions and would not interfere with the international sports calendar as well as with the IOC-approved calendar of events.

In April, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov paid an official visit to China, where he stated that the 2024 BRICS Games and the following World Friendship Games in Russia would be organized based on the principles enshrined by International Olympic Committee (IOC) Charter.

2024 World Friendship Games

Moscow and Yekaterinburg in Russia’s Urals region are slated to co-host the 2024 World Friendship Games on September 15-29.

In December 2023, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) cautioned National Olympic Committees (NOCs) against participating in the World Friendship Games in Russia next year, as this would violate the global Olympic body’s recommendations.

Last November, WADA chief Banka warned that certain sanctions could be in place against international athletes willing to participate in the 2024 World Friendship Games. He said in particular that: "The possible participation in those competitions of those who are parties to the WADA Code, may have certain consequences."