IOC Board Recommends Wrestling Is Dropped from 2020 Olympics
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Wrestling should be removed from the 2020 Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee's Executive Board said in a surprise recommendation on Tuesday (February 12) as it looks to revamp the Games sports programme.

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SHOWS: LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND (FEBRUARY 12, 2013)(REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARK ADAMS, IOC SPOKESPERSON, SAYING "The executive board recommended that wrestling, governed by International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA), not be included on the list of core sports. Wrestling will now join the seven shortlisted sports: baseball and softball, karate, rollersport, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding and wushu, vying for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic programme as an additional sport" STORY: Wrestling should be removed from the 2020 Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee's Executive Board said in a surprise recommendation on Tuesday (February 12) as it looks to revamp the Games sports programme. Wrestling, contested in the first modern Olympics in 1896, will now join a list of seven other candidate sports battling for one spot on the programme. It is very unlikely, however, that it will get back in when the IOC session in Buenos Aires in September votes on the recommendation. "The executive board recommended that wrestling, governed by International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA), not be included on the list of core sports," IOC spokesman Mark Adams told reporters after the executive board vote. "Wrestling will now join the seven shortlisted sports: baseball and softball, karate, rollersport, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding and wushu, vying for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic programme as an additional sport." The Executive Board vote comes as a major surprise after other sports, including modern pentathlon and taekwondo, were seen at risk of losing out on the Olympics due to their lower global appeal. Board members were given a report on each of the Olympic sports which provided details on 39 criteria such as popularity, finances, tickets sold and governance, before a secret vote. IOC sources told Reuters that in the secret ballot there were four sports battling to avoid the cut: field hockey, modern pentathlon, taekwondo and wrestling. The IOC said 25 of the 26 Olympic sports were elected as core sports for the 2020 Games which will also include rugby and golf, making their first appearance in 2016. Wrestling will now join baseball and softball, making a joint bid, martial arts karate and wushu, rollersports, wakeboarding, squash and sports climbing as candidates for the one empty spot. Baseball and softball were taken off the programme in 2005. The IOC executive board will meet in St Petersburg in May to determine which of these will be put to the vote in September. Wrestling had 344 athletes in total at the London Olympics, competing in greco-roman and freestyle disciplines.