IOC Presidential Hopeful Denis Oswald Says Wrestling Should Return To Olympic Games
Int'l Rowing Federation President and IOC presidential hopeful Denis Oswald distanced himself from the IOC's current leadership on Monday, saying that "wrestling's 2020 Olympics exit could have been handled better and that more sports could join the Games," according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. Oswald, who as a long-time IOC exec board member was part of the decision-making process until '12, said that "the IOC's February exclusion of wrestling from the 2020 Games was not well handled." Oswald, bidding against five other candidates for the presidency, told reporters on a telephone conference call from Lausanne, "I am no longer on the Executive Board ... but I must say I was very surprised that wrestling was eliminated. The (wrestling) federation maybe did not make the effort but I think there were other ways to warn them because wrestling is a basic sport (of the Games) and I am convinced they will come back." Oswald said that despite an IOC cap of 28 sports, "he could see more sports joining in the future if existing ones reduced events that were not 'universally' popular or the number of athletes." Oswald: "What I propose is not to limit strictly at 28 sports but reduce the representation of some sports' disciplines. Even in major sports there are some disciplines that are not universal" (REUTERS, 6/3).