Feb 27, 2013, 10:58 AM EDT
Russia’s Sagid Murtazalie, following the lead of Bulgarian champion Valentin Yordanov, has also returned his gold medal to the IOC Tuesday, in protest of the organization’s recommendation to remove the sport from the 2020 Olympics.
“The decision to return my Olympic medal was not easy for me,” Murtazaliev, the Sydney 2000 heavyweight champ, said in a letter to IOC president Jacques Rogge.
It leaves us to wonder whether passionate American champions like Rulon Gardner or Kurt Angle will be joining their wrestling brethren in returning their medals. But USA Wrestling spokesman Gary Abbott told USA Today that it’s not likely to happen:
“Each wrestling nation and each individual athlete will do what they can to keep the issue in front of the world,” Abbott said. “I don’t think there’s been a call within the wrestling community to do this. I think these are individual statements being made by individual athletes wanting to make a difference in the discussion. We haven’t heard that from any of our athletes.”
But USA Wrestling is being proactive by creating the Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling, and by putting aside diplomatic issues with countries like Iran and Russia in order for wrestlers from those nations to join each other in the common goal of returning wrestling to its Olympic status.
Wrestling’s first challenge will be a vote in St. Petersburg in May, which will determine which of the eight prospective sports, including squash, karate, wakeboarding, sport climbing, roller sports, wushu, and baseball/softball, will move on to the final IOC vote in September. That vote will determine which sport will fill the one open spot in the 2020 Olympics schedule.
Sep 22, 2014, 3:41 PM EDT
Canadians not ruling out return to ice dancing.
Sep 22, 2014, 2:49 PM EDT
Raty nearly did something two Canadian Olympic women’s goalies couldn’t do against the men.
Sep 22, 2014, 1:41 PM EDT
U.S. women must cut one more player before FIBA World Championships.
Sep 22, 2014, 1:15 PM EDT
London Games voted No. 1 overall.
Sep 22, 2014, 12:23 PM EDT
Figure skater to be questioned over doping by her ex-boyfriend, Olympic champ race walker.
Sep 22, 2014, 11:56 AM EDT
World’s greatest swimmer on display at Asian Games.
Sep 22, 2014, 10:55 AM EDT
Lead cyclist hits fence, trailing cyclist breaks pelvis.
Sep 22, 2014, 8:35 AM EDT
Upset of dynastic Brazil sets off bedlam inside arena, outside streets for host nation.
Sep 22, 2014, 7:35 AM EDT
Walsh Jennings, Ross played with interesting keys looped through chains Sunday.
Sep 22, 2014, 7:08 AM EDT
Uzbekistan gymnast has competed at World Championships since 1991.
Sep 21, 2014, 8:48 AM EDT
Ledecky broke five world records in two months this year.
Sep 21, 2014, 8:31 AM EDT
“I would be 36 for Rio. That’s probably just getting on a bit too much.”
Sep 19, 2014, 2:31 PM EDT
Spearmon lost a 2008 Olympic medal due to disqualification and finished fourth in the 2012 Olympic 200m.
Sep 19, 2014, 10:21 AM EDT
Komova won Olympic all-around silver behind Gabby Douglas.
Sep 19, 2014, 8:49 AM EDT
There was concern Olympic host nation wouldn’t be able to qualify in hockey.
Sep 19, 2014, 8:02 AM EDT
Olympic medalist skater could be called in for later hearing.
Sep 18, 2014, 4:50 PM EDT
Three-time Olympian rides into retirement by entering history books.
Sep 18, 2014, 3:06 PM EDT
Work expected to finish in the first half of 2016.
Sep 18, 2014, 1:39 PM EDT
NBC Olympics analyst hands out athlete of the year honors and more.
Sep 18, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT
Russian Olympic champion gave birth to daughter in June.
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