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Meeting of Council for Development of Physical Culture and Sport

October 11, 2016, Vladimir Region

Vladimir Putin held a meeting of the Council for the Development of Physical Culture and Sport in Kovrov (Vladimir Region).

The meeting focused on ways of improving the public physical education system.

Before the meeting, Vladimir Putin visited the festival Days of Sambo in Vladimir Region, where he attended training sessions.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues.

The current meeting of the Council on Sport is devoted to physical education, developing an effective system for involving our people in sports and creating new opportunities for self-realisation in sports.

 The demand for a healthy lifestyle and sports is one of the positive trends in the development of modern Russian society. In the past three years, the number of those who regularly visit gyms increased by almost 35 percent to reach 43.5 million people – almost one-third of the country’s population.

Let me recall that we planned to involve up to 40 percent of the population in systematic fitness and sports activities by 2020. I am confident that if we preserve the current dynamics we are sure to reach this goal.

However, the issue is not limited to statistics. The main point is health, useful leisure and a positive attitude to life that is formed by sports. Naturally, it is necessary to develop physical culture and a responsible attitude to oneself from an early age.

Much has already been done to get as many children and young people as possible involved in regular physical activity. This work should be continued. It is necessary to attentively monitor the efficiency of adopted decisions, such as, for instance, the development of the system of competitions and the student sports movement.

At the same time, involving the economically active population in sports remains an urgent issue. The existing organisational structure is inadequate. In this context, the proposal of the Council’s working group to restore physical fitness and sports societies is justified and promising. It is necessary to determine the goals and tasks of their activities, and define their authority and the mechanism of cooperation, in particular, with departments, large corporations and public associations.

Needless to say, both the Ministry of Sport and the Russian Olympic Committee should carefully look into all this, while sports federations should draw the appropriate conclusions.

Concentrating resources in a rational way and forming a clear-cut system for training our budding athletes should be among the priorities of the new Olympic cycle. I suggest discussing these issues at the next meeting of our Council.

Naturally, we need to focus on science in sport, which we are not developing fast enough, and on combating doping, of course.

We certainly see considerable politicisation of this sphere and sometimes, as I have already said, a biased attitude to our athletes. However, we must acknowledge that in a way we ourselves gave cause for this. We made quite a few mistakes and miscalculations in this most important and highly sensitive area.

There are many problems here. Some are ours, others are common for world sport and should be resolved in close cooperation with our partners.

Both Russia and other countries are interested in the existing international anti-doping system becoming transparent and open, and, most importantly, ensuring the absolute equality of all members of the large Olympic family and the immutability of the provisions of the Olympic Charter. No doubt, Russia will do all it can to reach these goals.

We have already drafted some proposals and established the Independent Public Anti-Doping Commission headed by IOC Honourary Member Vitaly Smirnov who is present here today.

Overall, to ensure the absolute independence of national anti-doping agencies we intend to considerably adjust the organisational activities of the Russian anti-doping structure RUSADA.

As you already know, the Ministry of Sport is no longer its founding member. Now Russia’s Olympic and Paralympic committees will become its founders. It will be funded directly from the federal budget. Incidentally, the activities of the World Anti-Doping Agency — WADA—will be financed in the same way.

Changes will also affect the Russian Anti-Doping Laboratory. Moscow Lomonosov State University will coordinate its work.

Of course, new formats will make their way to the sports management system as well. I think that none of those present here will object if I say that national Olympic and Paralympic committees and Russian sports federations, rather than the executive authorities, should interact with the international sports federations and the International Olympic and Paralympic committees.

I discussed this with Alexander Zhukov [President of the Russian Olympic Committee]. We are aware that he was elected First Deputy Speaker of the State Duma, and we discussed it with him. He wants to concentrate on his work in the Duma (it is a big job, and he has a high position). The Olympic cycle has ended, and the new one is just beginning. This is certainly correct, and we will support it in every way. Mr Zhukov has done a lot for sports, and I hope he will do even more.

However, this issue should be tackled in contact with the International Olympic Committee, so that we do not lose Russia’s standing in the IOC. It is imperative to consult Mr Bach on these issues before we do anything or decide on anything.

Besides, I would like to tell you that Prime Minister Medvedev and I have discussed a number of issues that are close to sports, such as youth policy and tourism. Sports, youth, and tourism are all very close. We believe they should be brought together under one roof and be supervised by one deputy prime minister. The Government will come up with specific proposals in the near future, including the name of such a supervisory authority.

Importantly, these are the first steps on the path of reform in the sports sector.

I would like to reiterate that Russia has always been a proponent of fair, just and equitable sports competition. At the Games in Rio, our team showed what ”clean“ Russian athletes are capable of.

A large number of our athletes were able to prove themselves in spite of everything. Our country now has new heroes and new positive role models. Let us think of ways to make sure that these role models enjoy even more recognition and fame.


October 11, 2016, Vladimir Region