rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Wrestling exit and shortlist inclusion was no error: IOC

Wrestling exit and shortlist inclusion was no error: IOC

May 31, 2013 16:25 IST

A shock International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision to remove wrestling from the 2020 Olympic Games programme and then include it in a shortlist of sports for those Games was no mistake, IOC president Jacques Rogge said on Friday.

Wrestling was taken off the programme in February in a move that stunned the sporting world but it managed to join baseball/softball and squash this week as one of three sports that will be considered for inclusion in the 2020 Games.

The IOC will elect the winning sport at its session in Buenos Aires in September.

Jacques Rogge"I do not see shortcomings in the system, I do not see errors in the system," Rogge told reporters at the end of a three-day executive board meeting.

The IOC set out to revamp the Games programme to make it more relevant to a younger generation of fans and sponsors but, with wrestling back as a candidate for inclusion, the procedure has been heavily criticised for having achieved little change.

"We do not want change for change," Rogge said. "The purpose is to have the best possible Olympic Games."

Rogge, whose 12-year stint at the helm of the IOC comes to an end in September, said the body had been adding sports to the programme for decades before deciding to cap the number at 28.

"When I was elected (in 2001) we were at the end of a period where sports were only added - from 20 (sports) at the Seoul Games in 1988 to 28 in Sydney in 2000.

"There was a need to put a cap on the size of the Games but we felt we could not freeze the programme and we needed change."

Rogge said the IOC's decision in February to exclude wrestling, which had been in every Games since 1896 apart from 1900, was right as it prompted immediate changes within the federation and the sport.

He shrugged off suggestions that a return of wrestling to the Games at the IOC session in Buenos Aires would defeat the purpose of the exercise.

"If there is the consideration that one sport is better than the other it should be chosen even if it is an existing sport," said the Belgian surgeon.

"Do not bring a new one in for the sake of a new one."

Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Source:
© Copyright 2013 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.