By Paul Osborne

Alexander Zhukov has called for less foreign imports into sport in Russia ©ROCThe naturalisation of foreign athletes should not become the norm in Russian sports, Alexander Zhukov, President of the Russian Olympic Committee, has warned. 

Zhukov also highlighted the importance of cutting the number of foreign players in Russian football's Premier League to two or three per club.

"Naturalisation is possible but it is occasional and should not be turned into a strategy," Zhukov, a member of the International Olympic Committee, told the official Russian news agency Tass. 

"Viktor Ahn and Victor Wild who were rejected by their [national] teams are a different matter.

"But the Sochi Olympics have shown that we can and should train our own athletes."

South Korean-born speed skater Ahn and American-born snowboarder Wild won five gold medals between them for Russia during Sochi 2014.

Ahn, who became a Russian citizen in 2011, won three gold and one bronze medal.

Wild, meanwhile, who gained Russian citizenship in 2012 after moving to Moscow and marrying world champion snowboarder Alena Zavarzina, won two gold medals at Sochi 2014. 

South Korean-born speed skater Viktor Ahn won four Olympic medals for Russia at Sochi 2014, including three gold ©Getty ImagesSouth Korean-born speed skater Viktor Ahn won four Olympic medals for Russia at Sochi 2014, including three gold ©Getty Images

Zhukov's views on limitations in foreign footballers comes on the back of changes made by the Russian Football Union which, on December 16, endorsed a new formula for setting the limit to the number of mercenaries at football clubs.

This new formula means that the application a team files for a season can include 10 foreigners and 15 Russians, an increase from the seven plus four formula used at the minute, which limits foreign players to seven for any one team in a single game.

The new formula is due to be enforced in the 2015-2016 season.

Russian Minister of Sports Vitaly Mutko opposes the new approach to tackling foreign imports in Russia's top league, however.

"The Ministry doesn't agree with the law on foreign players in the form that has been endorsed," he said.

"We'll take the line of putting limits on requested numbers (of foreign players) but with certain exceptions."

"We must uphold the interests of the national team, weather some people like it or not.

"We'll take that line but will make a few additions to it."

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