International Sambo Federation (FIAS) President Vasily Shestakov has described the sport’s failure to secure provisional recognition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as a "big disappointment".
Sambo was one of 14 sports to miss out at last week’s IOC Executive Board meeting in Lausanne as the International Cheer Union (ICU) and International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA) were both accepted.
It marked the latest snub for FIAS which had been hopeful of being put forward for full recognition at the IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro in August, only to be overlooked along with several other Federations.
"I am personally disappointed together with the Presidents of all National Sambo Federations," Shestakov told insidethegames here at the World University Sambo Championships.
"We are on 120 [National Federations] and each of them dreams and wishes to see sambo recognised and maybe one day be on the Olympic programme, so of course it is a big disappointment.
"Today, in all our member countries, we have people practicing sambo, athletes practicing sambo, starting from 100 to many thousands.
"It’s disappointing for these athletes who do sambo, who love sambo, and for them we feel very sorry about that."
Sambo is currently on the sports programme of several continental Games, including those in Europe, Asia and Central America, and Shestakov says IOC recognition is the only step the FIAS desires for the time being.
"This is the biggest thing for now and we hope and we believe that finally one day we will have a positive reply from IOC about recognition because I believe that the President of the IOC, Thomas Bach, who used to be an athlete himself, can totally understand the feelings and disappointment of the athletes that are dreaming to become part of the Olympic family."
Asked whether the IOC have given any information on the reasons behind the FIAS's latest failed bid for recognition, Shestakov replied: "Not yet, but we hope in the near future we will have a chance to discuss, to meet and to listen to their recommendations."
The 2016 World University Sambo Championships is the inaugural edition of the event and forms part of the International University Sports Federation (FISU) programme.
Sambo made its debut on the sports programme of FISU’s Summer Universiade in Kazan in 2013 and the event here is seen as a potential stepping stone to securing its place at future editions.
The Soviet martial art will not feature at next year’s Summer Universiade in Taiwan’s capital Taipei, but Shestakov insists there is the possibility of sambo being included on the 2019 programme in Italian city Naples.
"We’re working on it now," the 63-year-old said.
"Of course, we have a National Federation in Italy which is quite strong and well organised, so if they will be able to agree that the host country will propose sambo as a sport onto the programme, we will be very keen."