UPDATE: Duma to consider bill regulating sports contracts

MOSCOW, September 9 (RIA Novosti) - The lower chamber of Russia's parliament, the State Duma, will consider a bill regulating contracts for professional sportsmen, particularly club transfers, a parliamentarian said Friday.

The bill contains amendments to the Federal law "On Physical Culture and Sport in Russia", said a member of the Duma's committee for civil, criminal, arbitrary and procedural legislation.

Pavel Krasheninnikov, one of the draft law's initiators and the committee chairman, said the bill aimed to prevent collisions of norms regulating the activity of professional sportsmen and women.

"On the one hand, professional sport is defined in the law On Physical Culture and Sport as a business activity," Krasheninnikov said, "but on the other, the law says that professional athletes are subject to labor legislation that is typical for hired workers."

He said this put professional Russian athletes in an unequal position with similar foreign sports structures, for example, during the club transfers. "Under labor legislation any employee can resign any time by submitting a letter of resignation," Krasheninnikov said.

The new amendment to the law On Physical Culture and Sport will regulate the activity of professional sportsmen and women under civil as well as labor legislation. In accordance with civil legislation, athletes' contracts would reflect the current status of the sport industry. Contracts may contain specific provisions obliging sportsmen and women to wear or use an outfit made by a certain brand or to participate in public events.

"The bill will certainly help Russia's professional sport to arrange proper relations on the domestic as well as on the foreign level, and that means making it more competitive," Krasheninnikov added.

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