How did the IOC’s 15-member executive board manage to vote wrestling out of the 2020 Games? It’s what everyone’s been asking. Here’s how: Wh­i­le other federations were represented in the me­eting on Tuesday, wrestling wasn’t. “By voting wr­e­­­­stling off they were safe in that they weren’t offe­nding one of their own,” is how an IOC member put it. HT puts in perspective the current scenario:
Rogge tenure under threat?
IOC members were already angry that important issues like voting a sport off the Olympic programme could be decided by the board. With the expulsion of wrestling, the anger could boil over at the Congress, to be held in Buenos Aires from Sept 7-10, and can cast a shadow over president Jacques Rogge's 12-year term.
Can wrestling return?
Potential scenarios can work in its favour. It’s possible the board could deci­ de in St Petersburg (May 29-31) to put three sports forward for consideration, including wrestling. Then it would be up to the assembly to approve wrestling or not in September.
If the board decides to keep wrestling off the list, the IOC assembly — which has resisted past attempts by the board to impose cha­nges to the sports program — could reject the proposed list of 25 sports altogether. That would mean the current 26 sports, incl­uding wrestling, would stay and the whole process wo­uld go back to square one.
Was the voting needed?
“It shouldn't have happened in the first place. There is enough to be voted on in Buenos Aires with the city for the 2020 Summer Olympics and Rogge’s successor. It should have been held over till next year, if at all,” said an IOC member.
Modern pentathlon and taekwondo realised they were facing problems in retaining their places. They started their campaigns almost as soon as the London Games ended. Unfortunately, there was no one on the inside to lobby for wrestling.
2020: One spot up for grabs
Wrestling joins seven other sports vying for one opening: a combined bid from baseball and softball, karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and the martial art of wushu. The Games will include 28 sports.
How the world is protesting
To have the 2020 Olympics in Istanbul without wrestling is unthinkable. We won't allow it. Hamza Yerlikaya, President of Turkish wrestling federation
We’ll use all of our strength to persuade the IOC not to exclude wrestling from the Olympic programme. Alexander Zhukov, Head of the Russian Olympic Committee
Do we destroy our historical sites which are symbols of hu­manity? No. Then, why destroy wres­tling? Ali Reza Dabir,Iranian wrestler, 2000 Sydney Games gold medalist
We need to pull everyone in the world together and get everyone on the same page 100%. Rulon Gardner,American wrestler, 2000 Sydney Games gold medalist