Raphael Martinetti, president of wrestling’s world governing body (FILA), resigned Saturday following the IOC’s recommendation to remove the sport from the 2020 Summer Olympics schedule.
Martinetti had been in the position since 2002, but was issued a vote of no confidence by FILA’s executive committee Saturday at a meeting in Thailand, and according to FILA member Rodica Yaksi of Turkey, was “given his resignation.”
FILA was blindsided by the decision to remove wrestling from the Olympics, as Modern Pentathlon and taekwondo were seen as the most likely to get the boot. All is not lost however, as wrestling now will go up against seven other prospective sports at an IOC executive meeting in St. Petersburg this May.
Those sports, including baseball/softball, wushu, wakeboarding, sportsclimbing, karate, squash, and roller sports, have had months to prepare their pitch, so FILA is scrambling to get their house in order.
“We will discuss in what ways we can bring wrestling back,” FILA vice president Tomiaki Fukuda told the BBC. “But if nothing is decided today, we’ll continue our discussions on Sunday.”