Oleg Matytsin has said he does not know of special volunteer detachment plans which consists of athletes ©Getty Images

Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin has said he is not aware of reported plans to create volunteer military detachments of professional athletes as the nation continues its war against Ukraine.

Two unnamed sources told Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti that a preliminary discussion was held on Monday (October 10) in Moscow, and it was suggested regional sports federations would initially become involved in the mobilisation process.

However, Matytsin insisted he had no knowledge of such plans and claimed every person has the right choose whether they should serve in the army.

"The Ministry of Sports does not officially know anything about this, they learned about it from the media," Matytsin told Russia's official state news agency TASS.

"Everyone has the right to choose, whether it be an athlete, a railway worker or a driver.

"If he is ready to volunteer to defend the country, then honour and praise be to him.

"We are not we form (sic) squads of professional athletes, I think that everyone at this moment should do their job as conscientiously as possible."

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was stripped of the Olympic Order by the International Olympic Committee following the invasion of Ukraine, announced last month a partial mobilisation of military reserves amid fears the conflict could escalate.

Diniyar Bilyaletdinov is reported to be among the athletes conscripted to the Russian army ©Getty Images
Diniyar Bilyaletdinov is reported to be among the athletes conscripted to the Russian army ©Getty Images

An estimated 300,000 reservists are being summoned to join the army with sporting athletes and coaches among the recruits.

This reportedly includes European figure skating gold-medallist Dmitri Aliev and ex-international footballer Diniyar Bilyaletdinov.

Russian Cycling Federation President Vyacheslev Ekimov has confirmed three athletes and a coach have been conscripted.

In defence of this, Matytsin suggested that there should not be "exclusive privileges" for athletes.

Russian Olympic Committee President Stanislav Pozdnyakov believes athletes should be honoured if they were called upon to fight.

Last week, Putin signed documents during a ceremony in the Kremlin to annex eastern Ukrainian regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson following so-called referendums.

Western nations have denounced the referendums and the United Nations (UN) General Assembly has, today, voted overwhelmingly to condemn Russia's new claimed territory.