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Third Olympic wrestler returns medal to the IOC

Mar 7, 2013, 11:02 AM EDT

andrzej-supron

Polish wrestler Andrzej Supro is about to become the third Olympian to return his medal to Jacques Rogge and the IOC in protest after the sport was recommended for removal from the 2020 Olympics schedule during a meeting last month.

Supron won silver in the Greco-Roman lightweight division back at the 1980 Moscow Games, which apparently still happened despite the fact that the U.S. and sixty other nations didn’t participate.

The former world champ joins Atlanta gold medalist Valentin Yordanov of Bulgaria and Sydney Olympic champ Sagid Murtazalie of Russia who started the movement last month.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Armen Nazaryan of Bulgaria is also protesting the decision with a hunger strike that will last until wrestling’s European championships start March 21 in Tbilisi, Georgia.

No Americans have followed suit, yet. But USA Wrestling created the Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling to help the the sport beat seven other prospective sports in IOC votes this May and September for the one spot available in the 2020 program.

The U.S. federation is also putting aside diplomatic issues with countries like Iran and Russia in order for wrestlers from those nations to join in the common goal of returning wrestling to its Olympic status.

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