The Russian Defense Ministry denied on Monday media reports that it had bought thousands of badminton rackets and tens of thousands of shuttlecocks for military units.
The Russian daily newspaper Izvestia reported earlier on Monday that the Defense Ministry planned to provide Russian army, including snipers, with badminton equipment in 2012 since “watching a birdie trains the eye muscles, strengthens the cardiovascular system and develops reaction speeds.”
“The Defense Ministry was surprised by the Izvestia report,” the ministry said in a statement.
“Badminton is not an applied sports in the Armed Forces,” the statement read.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev recently attracted international and domestic media attention with a clip on his official blog where he spoke about his love for badminton, which he said “develops your physical form, eye coordination, accuracy and reactions.” The clip was designed to foster interest in the sport among Russian schoolchildren. The video shows Medvedev playing badminton with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.