IOC decision to drop wrestling surprises Russia

Moscow, Feb 14 (IANS) International Olympic Committee's (IOC) decision to remove wrestling from the Games programme is surprising, president of the Russian Olympic Committee said, vowing to appeal for a reversed decision.

Alexander Zhukov vowed to do his best to persuade the IOC not to exclude wrestling from the Summer Olympics-2020, reports Xinhua.

"For us it was highly unexpected, but at the IOC session we'll do our best to persuade the IOC members to keep wrestling intact," he said in a statement on the official website of the Russian Olympic Committee.

"It is hard to imagine the Olympic Games without wrestling."

"However much I would respect baseball, wushsu and other sports claiming to be included into the Olympic programme, they cannot be compared with wrestling," Zhukov said, adding that it would be unfair to deprive thousands of Russian junior wrestlers of a dream to win in Olympics.

The IOC executive committee will discuss the future of wrestling as an Olympic sport along with seven other sports, namely baseball, karate, roller skating, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding and wushu, also known as kung fu in May.

The final decision will be made by the 125th session of the IOC in September in Argentina's capital Buenos Aires.

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