Wrestling Makes Drastic Changes For IOC Hoping To Salvage Olympic Status
Newly elected FILA President Nenad Lalovic said that wrestling has "introduced drastic changes designed to keep the ancient sport in the Olympic programme," according to Gennady Fyodorov of REUTERS. More categories for women, eliminating draws and cutting down the number of competitors "are just some of the initiatives being introduced as wrestling battles to salvage its Olympic status" after the IOC exec board "made a surprise recommendation" to drop it from the 2020 Games program. After winning overwhelming majority votes to lead the sport at FILA's extraordinary congress in Moscow, Lalovic said, "Today we made decisions needed for our struggle to remain in the Olympic movement." Wrestlers were told to bring changes to their sport, adapt to a new environment and make it more suitable for a television audience if they wanted to remain in the Olympics. Lalovic: "They (IOC) gave us a yellow card, so we had to change. And we did" (REUTERS, 5/18).