Lausanne, Feb 12 (IBNS) The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday decided to drop wrestling, one of the most traditional sport, from the 2020 edition.
The decision of taken at the IOC executive board meeting here as wrestling lost to taekwondo and modern pentathlon in a close voting.
Taekwondo and modern pentathlon enjoyed the backing of some effective insiders, who had lobbied hard for the retention of their sport. Wrestling, however, was not so lucky.
The sports were rated on 39 different criteria including television ratings and ticket sales based on the 2012 London Games.
At the London Games, 344 wrestlers competed in 11 medal events in freestyle and seven in Greco-Roman.
Wrestling, which is the national sport of Iran, will now have to fight it out with other sports like softball and baseball, squash, karate, sport climbing, wakeboarding, wushu and rollersports for pitching its case for inclusion in the Olympics in May.
The changes will be ratified in September during the full session of the IOC in Buenos Aires.
IOC spokesman Mark Adams said the process was comprehensive and it wasn´t a sudden decision.
"It was up to the executive board members to make a decision, it was not black and white and it was not an easy decision, but we wanted to allow room for the renewal of the Olympic programme," Adams was quoted as saying by the English media.
The IOC already had plans to reduce its "core" sports programme to 25 to make place for a new sport for the 2020 Olympic programme.