Other Sport

IOC plays down wrestling's exit

2013-02-13 16:16
Olympic flag (File)

Lausanne - The surprise recommendation to drop wrestling from the Olympics has angered athletes, officials and fans around the world and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) played down the finality of its decision on Wednesday.

The IOC's 15-member executive board voted on Tuesday to recommend that the sport be dropped from the 2020 Olympic programme, with a final decision resting with the IOC session in September in Buenos Aires.

The vote prompted an instant wave of protest and anger from the sport's global community with the international federation (FILA) calling it an aberration, petitions launched with the United States White House and on-line wrestling support groups signing up thousands of supporters.

India's government said on Wednesday it would seek the support of other countries where wrestling is popular to help the sport remain an Olympic discipline.

"These reactions, they are quite normal," IOC Vice President Thomas Bach told reporters. "This would have happened with any decision. You have to find the right balance between tradition and progress.

"This was a decision about core sports and nothing more," he said of Tuesday's vote that cut the core Olympic sports from 26 to 25, leaving out wrestling.

"I am happy about FILA's reaction, to draw up a plan to act. That is the right way. Keep in mind a final decision has not yet been taken. If they (FILA) continue like that they will win a lot of sympathies," said Bach, a potential presidential candidate later this year.

The IOC's executive board will decide in St Petersburg in May to decide which of eight candidate sports, including wrestling, will be put forward to win the spot left vacant for the 2020 Games.

It will then put its recommendation for the 25 core sports and the new entry to a vote at its session in Argentina.

"It was always going to be a painful decision," said IOC member and head of the organisation's finance commission Richard Carrion, also a potential presidential candidate.

"No matter what we do, it will be criticised by someone," said Puerto Rican Carrion, whose country won a silver medal in wrestling at the London 2012 Olympics, one of two medals overall.

"From a personal point of view I am sad. I have become attached to the wrestling club (in Puerto Rico) which doesn't even have a regulation-size mat and still managed to send three athletes to the Games."

For Juan Antonio Samaranch Junior, who is both an executive board member and a modern pentathlon vice-president, the decision was a good one.

"I am very sorry for wrestling as it is a sport I respect," the son of former IOC president Samaranch, told reporters.

"I cannot be surprised by the reaction because any sport would have created the same reaction."

Wrestling's surprise exit has been blamed by some on a lack of political support within the executive board, where other sports at risk - including modern pentathlon and taekwondo - had the upper hand with representatives in the 15-member group.

Asked whether his double capacity was a conflict of interest, Samaranch said: "I am here in my capacity as executive board member."

Read more on:    olympics 2020  |  wrestling
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Former Klitschkos coach dies

2014-12-22 18:59

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

How much of a runner are you?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.