Former tennis No. 1 Marat Safin was officially confirmed as one of the leading sports icons among a colorful new breed of legislators in the Russian Federal Assembly's lower house.
The two-time grand slam winner, 31, will take his place as one of the junior members of the new State Duma alongside boxer Nikolai Valuev. Three-time Olympic wrestler Alexander Karelin and former Olympic gymnast Alina Kabayeva also were re-elected.
All four will represent Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia party in the 450-seat Duma, along with a former Russian Playboy model recently voted the country's sexiest woman. The new-look parliament will convene for its first session next Wednesday following the Dec. 4 vote, The Moscow Times reported.
Safin claimed to offer an attractive alternative to voters when confirming his intention to run in October.
"I could be the best-looking guy in the Duma," he boasted. "But that's only because all the other guys are over ...