Sports Ministry writes to IOC to review decision on wrestling

Describing wrestling's omission from the 2020 Summer Games as against the Olympic tradition, the Sports Ministry today asked India's representative in the IOC Randhir Singh to urgently take up the matter with the Executive Board and request the world body to reconsider its decision.

In a letter written to IOC-recognised IOA's secretary-general Randhir Singh, sports secretary Pradeep Kumar Deb said the Indian government feels that the decision to exclude wrestling from the 25 core sports needs to be revisited.

"The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has urged the Member representing India in the IOC to take up the matter of excluding wrestling from the 25 core sports for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games urgently with IOC Executive Board and other forums and impress IOC upon the need to reconsider its decision and retain wrestling in the category of core sports in Olympic Games," the letter from the sports secretary said.

"Wrestling is a popular sport not only in India but also in many other countries such as United States, Russia, Iran, Uzbekistan, Mangolia, Japan, China, etc. The exclusion of the discipline from the Olympics is against tradition which is so much a part of Olympics. It will also deeply affect the sustenance of the game in the future," it added.

The ministry also highlighted the achievements of Indian wrestlers in the quadrennial event.

"Wrestling, which combines freestyle and greco-roman events, goes back to the inaugural modern Olympics in Athens in 1896 and has always been a core sport from the first Olympics. This ancient sport has helped Indian grapplers make a mark and bring India on the global sporting map. India has won four medals at the Olympic Games in wrestling."

The IOC Executive Board, in its recent meeting, left wrestling out of the 25 core sports to be proposed for approval for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in the 125th IOC Session to be held in September in Argentina.

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