Vasily Shestakov was unanimously re-elected President of the International Sambo Federation during the world governing body's Congress ©FIAS

Vasily Shestakov has vowed to achieve sambo's "dream" of achieving recognition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after being unanimously re-elected unopposed as the President of the sport's world governing body here.

The Russian, first elected to the post in 2009, was nominated by All-Russian Sambo Federation President Sergey Eliseev and received the backing of all 80 of the International Sambo Federation (FIAS) member federations that voted at the FIAS Congress. 

The coming four years will be Shestakov's last with FIAS Presidents only permitted to serve three consecutive terms of that length in office.

"Thank you very much," the 64-year-old said following his re-election. 

"I would like to thank you for your trust.

"I will try to put every effort into making our sport even more popular in the future in the search of our dream for International Olympic Committee recognition.

"Without your support we would not be able to cover this entire road."

In September, Shestakov said the world governing body was a "bit bemused" as to why it has not been granted recognition by the IOC and hinted his belief that the ongoing controversy surrounding Russia could be jeopardising the sport's chances.

Last December, sambo was one of 14 sports to miss out on provisional IOC recognition as the International Cheer Union and International Federation of Muaythai Amateur were both accepted.

It marked the latest snub for the FIAS, whose quintet of Honorary Presidents includes Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The organisation had been hopeful of being put forward for full recognition at the IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro last August, only to be overlooked along with several other Federations.

The Congress was held on the eve of the 2017 World Sambo Championships that take place at Sochi's Iceberg Skating Palace ©FIAS
The Congress was held on the eve of the 2017 World Sambo Championships that take place at Sochi's Iceberg Skating Palace ©FIAS

Russia is very much the dominant force in sambo, which originated in the Soviet Union in the 1920s when soldiers of the then-Soviet Army developed their own hand-to-hand combat technique.

The country is currently at the centre of a controversial doping scandal that has now been running for three years and has had a significant impact on national sports teams.

Today's Congress also featured the elections of FIAS Executive Committee members.

The five vice-presidents going forward will be Russians Eliseev and Andrey Klyamko, Bulgaria’s Roumen Stoilov, Morocco’s Sidi Mohamed Dalil Essakali and Uzbekistan’s Alamjon Mullaev.

All of these were re-elected with the exception of Klyamko, whose previous role as first vice-president has been annulled. 

Italy's Roberto Ferraris remains the secretary general, while the seven members include Seychelles’ Monique Athanase, Serbia’s Tatjana Trivic and Belarus’ Uladzimir Yapryntsau.

Completing the list of members are Japan’s Nobuyuki Asai, Venezuela’s Cesar Arteaga Vargas, Greece’s Merampi Iliadis and South Korea’s Chong Keum Moon.

All members were re-elected with the exception of Trivic. 

Panama's Cesar Chu Gomez has lost his place as vice-president, while Tajikistan's Mahmud Abdulloev and Ukraine's Viktor Savinov were not re-elected as members.

Another decision taken at the Congress was to award Romania's capital Bucharest the next FIAS Congress, which is scheduled to take place in November 2018.

The Congress was held on the eve of the 2017 World Sambo Championships at the Iceberg Skating Palace, built for the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in this Russian city.