IOC President Rogge to meet with wrestling leader

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 13, 2013 at 9:33 am •  Published: February 13, 2013
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"I cannot look into a crystal ball into the future," he said. "We have established a fair process by which the sport that would not be included in the core has a chance to compete with the seven other sports for the slot on the 2020 Games."

Rogge said he was fully aware of the backlash to the decision against wrestling, a sport which dates back to the ancient Olympics and featured in the inaugural modern games in 1896.

The head of the Russian Olympic Committee said Wednesday he would write to Rogge to appeal the IOC board's decision. Wrestling has been one of Russia's strongest sports: Soviet and Russian wrestlers have won 77 gold medals.

"We knew even before the decision was taken whatever sport would not be included in the core program would lead to criticism from the supporters of that sport," Rogge said.

The board voted after reviewing a report by the IOC program commission that analyzed 39 criteria, including TV ratings, ticket sales, anti-doping policy and global participation and popularity. With no official rankings or recommendations contained in the report, the final decision by the 15-member board may have included political and sentimental factors.

Modern pentathlon — a five-sport discipline dating back to the 1912 Games — had been widely expected to face removal from the program but lobbied successfully to save its status.

Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., the son of the former IOC president, is a vice president of the International Modern Pentathlon Union and a member of the IOC board.

FILA said Tuesday it was "greatly astonished" by the decision, adding that the federation "will take all necessary measures to convince the IOC executive board and IOC members of the aberration of such decision against one of the founding sports of the ancient and modern Olympic Games."

The last sports removed from the Olympics were baseball and softball, voted out by the IOC in 2005 and off the program since the 2008 Beijing Games. Golf and rugby will be joining the program at the 2016 Games in Rio.

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