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8 May, 2009 11:16

Russian army to give special attention to athletes

Athletes need not fear that their special skills will get rusty in the Russian army, as the government promises to keep their men in tip-top shape

The announcement came from Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at a meeting with the winners of the annual sports and athletics competition for school children.

Each of the youngsters is a potential participant at the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi.

Putin answered lots of questions, with most asking about professional sport in the army.

And the Prime Minister reassured them, saying young professional male athletes who are to serve in the Russian army will have all the essential facilities needed to continue their training.

”We discussed this issue with Defense, Sports, and Tourism ministers, and came to the conclusion that the armed forces must retain its element of professional sports such as the Central Sports Army Club. This affects athletes and coaches. But the structure itself will be renewed – with adequate financing and corresponding organization. This means that those who join our armed forces, will have an opportunity to play sports,” Vladimir Putin said.