LAUSANNE—The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday opted to remove wrestling from the program of sports at the 2020 Games, a spokesman said.
The decision, taken at the IOC’s executive committee meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, means wrestling now faces a fight against seven other sports for inclusion at the Games, the location of which will be decided later this year.
The sport, which includes freestyle and greco-roman wrestling, still has a slim chance of regaining its berth but, if the example of softball and baseball are anything to go by, it is unlikely to be successful.
For both of those sports were ejected in a vote in 2009 and subsequenttly confirmed in Berlin at the EB meeting where golf and rugby sevens were accepted for the 2016 edition in Rio de Janeiro.
There would be one last hope in that when the decision is put to all the IOC members in the Congress in Buenos Aires in September that it is rejected.
Some IOC members not on the EB could simply vote against the decision because they are annoyed that such matters are presented to them almost as a fait accompli and not debated by all the members.
Ironically softball and baseball have united this time round in order to regain its spot and will learn their fate at the EB meeting in St Petersburg, Russia, in May.
Also lobbying for inclusion are squash, roller sports – which both failed in their bids in 2009 – karate, wushu, which is very popular at the Asian Games, the nautical sport wakeboard and sport climbing.
Squash and karate are generally seen to be leading the race to win the sole spot for the 2020 Games which will be held in either Tokyo, Madrid or Istanbul.