BJP urges government to intervene over exclusion of wrestling from Olympic

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 16, 2013 15:40 hrs

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh on Saturday urged the government to intervene over the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommendation to drop wrestling from the 2020 Olympic Games.

The IOC is eager to revamp its sports programme to keep it relevant to a new generation of viewers, fans and sponsors.

Rajnath Singh, while addressing a press conference here, said that India has found a stable foothold in wrestling and such an action is unfair to the recently motivated youth of the country.

"There is an international conspiracy to remove wrestling from the upcoming 2020 Olympics and I feel that the government of India should intervene so that our wrestlers can participate in the 2020 wrestling championship," said Rajnath Singh.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA), banned by the IOC in December 2012 due to government interference in its elections procedures, said the move would demoralize youngsters who took up the sport after the country's good performance at the London Olympics.

Two of India's overall total of six medals at last year's Games came in wrestling with Beijing Olympics bronze medallist Sushil Kumar going one better by winning silver in the 66kg freestyle and Yogeshwar Dutt claiming the 60kg freestyle bronze.

The IOC's 15-member executive board voted on Tuesday to recommend that the sport be dropped from the 2020 Olympic programme, with a final decision resting with the IOC session in September 2013 in Buenos Aires. (ANI)

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