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Former Tennis Star Safin To Step Down From Russia's State Duma

Marat Safin at the 2008 Wimbledon championships

Marat Safin, the former world No. 1 tennis player, has said he plans to step down as a lawmaker in Russia’s lower house of parliament after six years in the position.

Safin on May 25 said his responsibilities as a member of the tennis Hall of Fame would not leave him enough time to carry out his duties at the State Duma.

Safin, who retired from tennis in 2009, was elected to the Duma in 2011, representing the Kremlin-controlled United Russia party.

"Yes, I sent a request to return my mandate," Safin told the state-run TASS news agency after a story appeared on the news website Fontanka.

Safin won the 2000 U.S. Open and 2005 Australian Open titles.

Based on reporting by AFP, TASS, and Fontanka