It is a wonder how anyone could think of eliminating wrestling from the olympic games! Being the oldest sport ever to be on the modern games since 1896 wrestling should have the right to be there along the 25 core sports. It is simply incomprehensible how the IOC could ever come up with such an idea and with such a weak reason.
Obviously FILA has not done a good job communicating the values and importance of this sport towards the committee. Cancelling the biggest platform for the sport can have major effects such as withdraws of sponsors or even governmental fund in eastern european countries.
Norbert Növényi formal hungarian olympic wrestler had posted on a big social platform the following: "What has surprised and petrified me was the fact that FILA was surprised by the news said Csaba HegedÅ±s. If this is true then my question is why are they there, who and what are they representing? Knowing the fact that during the London Olympic games he was the technical director for wrestling how did he not know what was going on. Who are the head of the International Wrestling Federation, why on earth is IOC paying them, if they are not even worthy to be asked of their opinions in an issue with such importance? Someone is not telling the truth!"
A couple of days after the announcement Raphy Martinetti former head of FILA gave an interviews on Kanal 9:
" IOC wants to remove wrestling from Olympic Games from 2020:
Wrestling has been an olympic sport since the first modern OGs in 1896
After the Executive Committee's announcement, the FILA president, Raphy Martinetti, called for a vote of confidence during an extraordinary session of the committee => 10 in favour, 11 against => president tendered his resignation
Nothing is unchangeable at the moment: in next September, the Committee will meeting in Buenos Aires for approving the 2020's OG program - wrestling will be in competition against 7 candidate sports for one spot on the programme.
- Reasons of this decision? RM's assumptions:
he had asked for 7 categories of girl for the next OG in Rio -> that must have scared the EC...
he had probably too much power for a president as he is also the president of the referees' committee.
The host says: "Now, you have two possibilities: 1) wrestling is not removed from the programme, but the new president of the Federation will take credit for that "victory"
2) wrestling is removed and everybody will say "it's the fault of Martinnetty!". Consequently, in both, you have lost...!"
RM's answer: "As far as i'm concerned, the matter is now that wrestling wins, nothing more nothing less. Jacques Rogge's idea was to reduce the number of core sports from 26 to 25. One sport has been threatened to be removed for a long time: modern pentathlon, but some people belonging to the EC back the modern pentathlon whereas no one backs wrestling."
According to RM, the EC isn't likely to go back on his decision. Now it's the CIO president's job to decide, however it might that he will think of having faced lot of pressures. RM adds that he thinks the limit of 25 sports was set arbitrary.
The host asks: "Do you feel angry?"
"I don't, because i still stick to my values and principles: I have always been a person of integrity and i want to continue to be viewed as that. And i have always implemented the reforms asked by the IOC. There is one thing/business/story that people don't know: 15 days after tacking over the Federation in 2002, I received a letter from J. Rogge which notified me that they removed Greco-roman wrestling from the programme. I went straight to speak to Rogge and threatened him to resign from the presidency. Then I asked what kind of change/reform I could implement in the federation to stop the removal, but finally, he went back on his decision."
RM claims that 'corruption and monkey business' (saying it implicitly) have never appealed to him, not even to gain a vote of confidence - he isn't interested in money.
According to him, all things considered, it is not a disaster if wrestling is removed because the sport will survive: wrestling exists for ever. Yet the bad point of the matter is that the OGs are an excellent showcase for sponsors - so less sponsors means less money and so less investments...
For RM, the alternative would be to reduce the number of weight categories in order to give more to other sports like karate for example. But he thinks the OIC and he don't share the same conception...