FIAS President Vasily Shestakov has claimed he is confident of the future of sport despite the coronavirus outbreak ©FIAS

International Sambo Federation (FIAS) President Vasily Shestakov has said he is confident about the future despite the ongoing crisis surrounding COVID-19.

In an interview with, Shestakov said there is no need to panic, even during the global pandemic.

"Certainly, the virus has made adjustments to our competition calendar, and we cannot ignore the recommendations of the World Health Organization, but lets us stay objective," he said. 

"COVID-19 is not a bubonic plague, not ebola and not malaria.

"Today, laboratories worldwide are working on a vaccine, so we are confident about the future."

Shestakov also said that there could be further changes to the sambo calendar because of the virus.

Even if events are held without fans, there would still be more than 200 athletes participating, as well as coaches, medical staff, officials and others in attendance.

The Russian further praised the decision of the International Olympic Committee to postpone the Tokyo Olympics, which are now set to take place from July 23 next year. 

"Of course, putting any major competitions off, and especially the Olympic Games, always entails considerable financial losses," he said.

"All the same, the International Olympic Committee clearly outlined their priorities – one should not risk the athletes' health."

On the topic of athletes' training, which has been heavily restricted due to Government laws worldwide, Shestakov said FIAS has came up with initiatives to help athletes through this difficult period.

"You can practice a wide variety of techniques at home by using special exercise machines and training equipment," he said.

"Just the other day FIAS launched a flash mob called 'together we'll defeat the coronavirus' in which athletes the world over practiced techniques and throws on a dummy with a crown on its head, and the inscription COVID-19 on its torso.

"The flash mob is intended to raise the spirits and consolidate us in the struggle against this global disaster."

To date, there are more than 789,000 confirmed cases worldwide of COVID-19, resulting in the deaths of more than 38,000 people.