IOC made right move to drop wrestling: Jacques Rogge
Reuters in St Petersburg
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision to remove wrestling from the 2020 Olympic programme and then include it in a shortlist for those Games was no mistake, IOC president Jacques Rogge said yesterday.
Wrestling was taken off the programme in February in a move that stunned the sporting world, but it managed to join baseball/softball and squash this week as one of three disciplines that will be considered for inclusion in the 2020 Games.
The IOC will elect the winning sport at its session in Buenos Aires in September.
"I do not see shortcomings in the system, I do not see errors in the system," Rogge said at the end of a three-day executive board meeting.
The IOC set out to revamp the Games programme to make it more relevant to a younger generation of fans and sponsors but, with wrestling back as a candidate for inclusion, the procedure has been criticised for having achieved little change.
"We do not want change for change," Rogge said. "The purpose is to have the best possible Olympic Games."
He said the IOC's move to exclude wrestling, which had been in every Games since 1896 apart from 1900, prompted the sport's governing body to institute immediate changes.