MOSCOW, September 13 (R-Sport) – Wrestling's world governing body, FILA, will purge its ranks of officials deemed to have done to little in the sport's successful bid to return to the Olympic program, the vice president of FILA's European Council, Georgy Bryusov, said Friday.
Wrestling defeated baseball/softball and squash to be reinstated for the 2020 and 2024 Olympics last week, seven months after it was cut amid claims of low spectator interest and match-fixing.
During the sport's campaign to be return to the Olympics, FILA changed the rules to favor more spectator-friendly techniques and agreed to give women's events a higher profile. There were also personnel changes, as ex-FILA head Raphael Martinetti was forced to resign.
“This will be a new sport, as both the structure and the administration of the wrestling federation will be changed,” Bryusov said.
“A decision on the further participation of each FILA bureau member will be made based on their personal involvement in the fight to keep wrestling's Olympic status and their responsibility for the previous decisions. The process of self-purification has only begun.”
The members of the International Olympic Committee were surprised at the rapid changes that occurred in wrestling as it fought its way back onto the Olympic program, Bryusov added.
“After the congress, a lot of IOC members said they hadn’t expected wrestling to react to that challenge so quickly,” he said. “They were probably giving another Olympic cycle for wrestling to return.”
FILA Congress will elect a new president for a six-year term next September in Tashkent, with Martinetti's replacement, Nenad Lalovic, among the favorites.