LAUSANNE, Switzerland - IOC leaders dropped wrestling from the Olympic program on Tuesday, a surprising decision that removes one of the oldest Olympic sports of the 2020 Games.
The IOC Executive Board decided to retain a modern pentathlon - the event as the most vulnerable - and remove wrestling instead of its list of 25 "core sports."
The IOC board acted after the review of the 26 sports on the current Olympic program. The elimination of a sport allows the International Olympic Committee to add a new sport to the program later this year.
Wrestling, this combines freestyle and Greco-Roman events, dates back to the inaugural modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896.
"This is a process of renewal and regeneration of the program of the Olympic Games," IOC spokesman Mark Adams. "In the opinion of the Board, which was the best program for the Olympic Games in 2020? It's not a case of what's wrong with wrestling, what is right with the 25 core sports."
Adams said the decision was taken by secret ballot over several rounds, with the members of the vote each time on the sport should not be included in the core group. IOC President Jacques Rogge does not vote.
Wrestling was in the last group, also elected to the modern pentathlon, taekwondo and field hockey, said officials familiar with the vote The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the details were not made public vote.
The Board agreed to review the report of the IOC Programme Commission report, which analyzed 39 different criteria, including television ratings, ticket sales, anti-doping policy and global participation and popularity. No official rankings or recommendations contained in the report, was the final decision of the 15-member board is also subject to political, emotional and sentimental factors.
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