14 Mar 2013

Putin backs wrestling for Olympics

11:55 am on 14 March 2013

Russia's President Vladimir Putin is throwing his weight behind wrestling's bid to remain in the Olympic programme after the ancient sport was nominated for exclusion from the 2020 Games.

Putin, who is a judo black belt and known for his love of wrestling and martial arts, intends discussing the issue with the International Olympic Committee on the basis that the exclusion of one of the original Olympic sports is unjustified.

The pending exclusion of one of the most elementary Olympic sports has caused a wave of protest both from inside and outside wrestling circles, and a number of Olympic gold medallists have returned their medals to the IOC in protest.