Russia is preparing a bid for the 2036 Olympic Games, with Saint Petersburg and Kazan the leading candidates, according to Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Lavrov held a meeting with Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Tokyo 2020 medallists in Rostov, where discussions reached the possibility of a bid for the Games.
“The bids are being prepared,” Lavrov said, as reported by state-run news agency TASS.
“We have several cities – St. Petersburg for sure, and I believe Kazan as well.”
Lovrov added that Rostov should act quickly if it wanted to be considered for any ROC attempt to stage the 2036 Summer Olympics.
“Several cities have already submitted their bids, so don’t drag out your time.”
Russia was banned from bidding for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) sanctions handed out to the country.
The WADA sanctions came after it found the Russian Anti-Doping Agency had manipulated and tampered with data at the Moscow Laboratory.
It is also why Russia’s name, anthem and flag were banned from Tokyo 2020, leaving “neutral” athletes to compete under the ROC banner.
Despite being 15 years away, several cities and National Olympic Committees have already laid out their desire to stage the 2036 Olympics.
Indonesian Olympic Committee President Raja Sapta Oktohari said last month that the country “will not back down and will continue to fight for the 2036 Olympics” as it aims to enter exclusive negotiations with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), as Brisbane did before being warded the 2032 Games.
Istanbul in Turkey plans to again bid for the 2036 Olympics – having unsuccessfully bid for each of the 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2020 editions – while Ahmedabad in India is also keen.
A joint application from Germany and Israel and a bid from London – host of the 2012 Games – have also been mooted.
Russia’s capital Moscow staged the Summer Olympics in 1980 when it was part of the Soviet Union, while Sochi hosted the Winter Games in 2014.