NOVO-OGARYOVA, Russia, February 20 (R-Sport) - President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said Wednesday that Russia will fight on every possible level to secure wrestling's Olympic future.
The ancient sport was struck off a list of core Olympic disciplines by the International Olympic Committee last week, raising a chorus of protests from Russia and other traditional wrestling powerhouses like India and Iran.
"Of course, there will be on all possible levels - both official and working - meetings with members of the IOC executive board, with IOC members, in the course of which arguments will be made in favor of this decision not being taken," Dmitry Peskov said.
In the wake of the decision, Raphael Martinetti resigned as president of wrestling’s FILA world governing body after barely surviving a vote of no confidence, and has been replaced in an acting capacity by Serbia’s Nenad Lazovic.
Wrestling must now grapple with seven candidate disciplines for the sole remaining slot.
The final decision on the Olympic program for the 2020 Games will be made by the IOC in Buenos Aires in September along with the announcement of the host city.
The sport has been included in various forms at every Olympics since 1904. In recent years, it has attracted scant spectator interest outside its stronghold countries and faced claims of corrupt refereeing at the Games.