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SBD Global/March 15, 2013/Olympics

Russian President Vladimir Putin Says Dropping Wrestling From Olympics 'Unjustified'

Russian President Vladimir Putin labeled the decision to exclude wrestling from the Olympics “unjustified” and said he hoped to take up the sport’s cause with the IOC, according to R-SPORT. Putin said, "It appears unjustified that there is the exclusion from the Olympic program of traditional sports which originally formed the basis of and were on the program of the Olympic Games even in the time of Ancient Greece, from where the Olympic movement began." Putin added that wrestling’s future requires a focused discussion he hopes he "will still be able to have with our friends from the International Olympic Committee." Putin also said that he "hoped to see" the Russian martial art of sambo added to the Olympic program in the future. Sambo is not on the IOC-approved list of candidate sports (R-SPORT, 3/13). REUTERS' Steve Gutterman wrote the world wrestling federation FILA will hold an extraordinary congress in Moscow in May, "days before the IOC executive board meets to determine which of the eight sports will go forward to a vote at a full IOC session in September." The IOC exec board meeting will be held in St. Petersburg, Putin's hometown. Putin "successfully pitched" the Russian resort of Sochi as host city of the 2014 Winter Games (REUTERS, 3/14). In Manila, Josef Ramos wrote Filipino-American mixed martial arts fighter Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Muñoz "expressed his support" for the campaign to keep wrestling in the Olympics program after officials of the IOC voted for its exclusion in the 2020 Games (MANILA TIMES, 3/14).
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