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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid