News / Europe

IOC Downplays Wrestling's Exit After Uproar

Cuba's Gustavo Balart, left, competes with South Korea's Choi Gyu-jin during a 55-kg Greco-Roman wrestling competition, London, Aug. 5, 2012.
Cuba's Gustavo Balart, left, competes with South Korea's Choi Gyu-jin during a 55-kg Greco-Roman wrestling competition, London, Aug. 5, 2012.
Reuters
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 program, 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 White House and online wrestling support groups seek to sign 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," added Bach, a potential IOC presidential candidate. "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."
 
In St. Petersburg this May the IOC's executive board will decide which of eight candidate sports, including wrestling, will be put forward to win the spot left vacant for the 2020 Games.
 
Painful decision
 
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 organization's finance commission Richard Carrion, also a potential presidential candidate.
 
"No matter what we do, it will be criticized by someone," said Carrion, a Puerto Rican 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," he said. "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 Jr., 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."

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Matt from: Ny, ny
February 14, 2013 9:53 PM
No wrestling in the Olympics! Are you kidding? The Olympic wrestling categories are Freestyle and Greco-Roman, you can not find an event anymore Olympic than Greco-Roman Wrestling! Be careful IOC. Remove yourselves for a moment and take a real look at sport; look at what it takes to compete, train, and metal. I care not to watch NBA or other profit centric events where athletes are concerned more about getting injured than participating at 100%.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid