SBD/April 22, 2013/Olympics

USA Wrestling Joins Other Nations In "Save Olympic Wrestling Coalition," Lobbying IOC

USA Wrestling on Saturday in Las Vegas announced that it was "participating in the 'Save Olympic Wrestling Coalition,' which will work primarily behind the scenes" to convince the IOC to "reverse its decision in February to drop the sport from the games beginning in 2020," according to Steve Carp of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. USA Wrestling Exec Dir Rich Bender said, “There’s a lot that has to be done, and there isn’t much time in which to do it.” Carp noted the coalition, which includes Russia, Iran, China, Cuba, South Korea, Canada, Japan, Germany and Greece, "hopes to lobby the IOC’s executive committee." The "first meeting" regarding wrestling's future will be when the IOC exec board meets at the end of May in St. Petersburg, Russia. Georgia-based MedAssets Founder John Bardis, who is involved with the coalition’s development and fundraising, said that approximately $3M "needs to be raised in the next few months to sustain the effort." The website KeepOlympicWrestling.com, which is "dedicated to the movement, is soliciting donations" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 4/21).
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