13 Feb 2013

Wrestling to be dropped from Olympics

11:26 am on 13 February 2013

Wrestling won't feature in the 2020 Olympic Games following a surprise recommendation by the International Olympic Committee's Executive Board to drop the sport.

Contested in the first modern Olympics in 1896, and also part of the ancient Games in Olympia, wrestling will now join seven other candidate sports battling for one spot in a revamped programme.

But it's unlikely to get a reprieve when the IOC session in Buenos Aires votes on the recommendation in September.

The vote comes as a major surprise after other sports, including modern pentathlon and taekwondo, were regarded as more at risk of losing out due to their lower global appeal.

While modern pentathlon and taekwondo have the support of senior IOC members, wrestling is not strongly represented in the IOC's decision-making body.

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 in 2016.

The International Wrestling Federation has described the decision as an aberration, and it will meet next week to decide its next steps.