FIAS President Shestakov heralded sambo's recognition from the International Olympic Committee in his end of year message ©FIAS

International Sambo Federation (FIAS) President Vasily Shestakov has heralded 2021, a "historic" year for sambo following the sport's recognition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The FIAS has repeatedly stated its intention for sambo to become an Olympic sport, and IOC recognition is a significant step in achieving a spot on the Olympic programme.

"This year that is now coming to an end has turned historical for our sport and the global sambo community as a whole," said Shestakov in his end of year message. 

"In 2021, FIAS received the long-awaited full recognition by the International Olympic Committee, thus making another giant step towards the Olympic Games."

Shestakov also praised the FIAS' partnership with the International World Games Association, which will see the sport return to the World Games for the first time since 1993 at Birmingham 2022 in Alabama in the United States next year.

"The rejoining of FIAS with the International World Games Association can be justifiably regarded as one other major accomplishment of the past year," Shestakov continued.

"For the first time since 1993, sambo will become a part of the World Games programme once again."

Shestakov also praised the organisation of events across the world in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the World Championships in Tashkent in Uzbekistan, the World Youth Championships in Thessaloniki in Greece and the first-ever World Beach Sambo Championships.

Australia, Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Guinea's National Federations were recognised by the FIAS, and Shestakov reserved special congratulations for the trio.

The FIAS now has 97 member states.