Russian Olympic Committee President Stanislav Pozdnyakov says he is optimistic about sambo featuring on the Olympic programme in future ©Getty Images

President of the Russian Olympic Committee Stanislav Pozdnyakov says he is optimistic about the sport of sambo featuring on the Olympic programme in the future.

In an interview with TASS, Russia’s official state news agency, Pozdnyakov praised the work of the International Sambo Federation (FIAS) towards the target of sambo receiving Olympic inclusion.

"FIAS has received full recognition from the International Olympic Committee, and we have a great interest in further promoting the sport that originated in our country," he said.

"I would like it to be presented in the Olympic programme, but this is not an easy task.

"Nevertheless, the level of work of the International SAMBO Federation inspires optimism.

"In the medium term, this sport may appear at the Olympics. You need to go a certain way, the road will be mastered by the walking."

FIAS received full IOC recognition at the IOC’s 138th Session, held in Tokyo, Japan in July.

Meanwhile, FIAS President Vasily Shestakov is confident that sambo can continue its growth throughout 2022.

Speaking in his New Year message, Shestakov said "sambo enthusiasts will enjoy even more tournaments", citing the addition of four World Cups to the calendar.

These are due to be scheduled on four different continents in 2022 - Dominican Republic in the Americas on dates to be confirmed in May, Casablanca in Morocco in Africa on June 18 and 19, Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan in Asia on August 20 and 21 and Novi Sad in Serbia in Europe on September 17 and 18.

Shestakov also highlighted the addition of the first FIAS tournament for the blind and visually impaired to the calendar.

This is due to be held as part of the World Sambo Super Cup, an event dedicated to the founders of the sport, set to be held in Moscow, Russia, on March 24 and 25.

In his New Year message, Shestakov also said he was confident that the International Sambo Centre in Luzhniki, Russia, would be put into full operation.

The complex is set to be a venue where sambists from around the world can train and prepare for competitions.