Wrestling could be dropped from Olympics

Feb. 12, 2013 at 9:52 AM
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LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Olympics officials released their "core" sports for the 2020 Summer Games, relegating wrestling to a list of events not guaranteed a spot in the lineup.

The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee Tuesday published its list of 25 so-called core sports of the 2020 Games. A surprise omission was wrestling, which has been contested in every Olympics, except 1900, since the modern Games were established in 1896.

There were medals awarded in 14 classes of freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling at the 2012 Games in London.

Wrestling was placed on a list of sports trying to get onto the 2020 Olympics schedule. In addition to wrestling, that list includes baseball/softball, karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding and wushu.

Representatives of those sports are to make presentations to the executive board at a May meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia. The board is to make a recommendation to the IOC ahead of its September meeting in Buenos Aires, where the committee is also to choose from among Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo as the host city for the 2020 Games.

The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, the body that oversees international wrestling, issued a statement saying the recommendation was "learned with great amazement."

The federation will "take all the necessary measures to convince the Executive Committee and the IOC members of the senselessness of this decision to one of the founding sports of the ancient and modern Olympics," the release said.

The group plans to use a meeting next week in Thailand to "discuss this issue to the representation of the fight before the Executive Board of the IOC in May."

The IOC routinely considers changes in the Olympics sports lineup. For instance baseball, currently on the to-be-considered list, was added in 1992 but dropped after 2008. Golf and rugby have been added for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The 25 core sports for the 2020 Games are: track and field, rowing, badminton, basketball, boxing, canoeing, cycling, equestrian, fencing, soccer, gymnastics, weightlifting, handball, hockey, judo, swimming, modern pentathlon, taekwondo, tennis, table tennis, shooting, archery, triathlon, sailing and volleyball.

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