Alexander Popov has been nominated for the role of ROC President ©Getty Images

The Shooting Union of Russia has nominated former Olympic swimmer Alexander Popov to become President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

The nomination comes after Alexander Zhukov's decision to not stand for re-election earlier this month.

As reported by Russia's official state news agency TASS, a statement by the Shooting Union of Russia read: "His many years of work in the Executive Committee of the ROC, and also as chairman of the public council at the Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation, shows his knowledge of the real state of affairs in Russian sports.

"The Shooting Union believes that, in the current realities and existing systemic problems with the position of President, the ROC needs a professional who is not only able to resolve issues within the country, but also at an international level in order to bring Russia back to the status of a strong sports power in the international Olympic Movement.

"This is exactly what Alexander Popov has."

Alexander Popov won four Olympic gold medals in his career ©Getty Images
Alexander Popov won four Olympic gold medals in his career ©Getty Images

Popov is considered one of the greatest sprint swimmers of all time and is the only man in history to defend both the 50 metre and 100m freestyle Olympic titles, having won them at Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996.

To participate in the elections, a candidate must be nominated by an ROC member sports federation.

The Russian Cross Country Skiing Federation nominated four-time Olympic fencing champion Stanislav Pozdnyakov for the role last month.

The election will take place on May 29 with the deadline for applications tomorrow.

Zhukov stands to automatically lose his membership of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) when he relinquishes the position of President.

The new leader will not automatically become an IOC member on his election, however, meaning Russia will be down to two - Shamil Tarpischev and Athletes' Commission member Yelena Isinbayeva.

Russia was forced to compete neutrally as the Olympic Athletes of Russia at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in February after the IOC suspended them.

This came after "manipulation" of the doping programme at their home Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014.

The IOC controversially reinstated the ROC just three days after Pyeongchang 2018, however.