Russia Officials Vow To Overturn Wrestling's Removal From Olympic Program
Russia "vowed to overturn a decision to exclude wrestling from the 2020 Olympics," saying that the move "flouts the Games’ traditions and the interests of hundreds of millions of fans around the world," according to Kravchenko & Meyer of BLOOMBERG. Int'l Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) Russian representative Mikhail Mamiashvili said, "We will look for a compromise and ways to convince the members of the International Olympic Committee that this sport, which was part of the ancient games and is loved by hundreds of millions of people across the globe, should remain." Mamiashvili added former FILA President Raphael Martinetti "bears full responsibility for what happened." He said, "He completely distanced himself from resolving the problem and didn’t keep the board informed for several years" (BLOOMBERG, 2/18).
WAVES OF CHANGE: REUTERS' Karolos Grohmann reported interim FILA President Nenad Lalovic said that "wrestling is ready to change and correct the mistakes that led to the sport’s surprise 2020 Olympic exit last week." The organization "seeks to revamp its sports programme to keep it attractive to voters and sponsors." Lalovic pledged to spend most of his time in Lausanne, Switzerland "when not on the road meeting IOC members in an effort to lobby for the sport." He accepted that wrestling "had neglected to cultivate contacts and support." Martinetti "was criticised for failing to do exactly that despite FILA’s offices being located near the IOC headquarters" (REUTERS, 2/18).