As part of wrestling’s aim to retain its spot in the Olympics, the sport’s world governing body, FILA, is planning to add two weight classes for women into Olympics competition, according to the AP.
Acting FILA president Nenad Lalovic, likely to become the actual president later this month, said that the weight classes will probably fall between 50kg and 74kg. He also plans to give women a more active role in FILA, including adding a female VP and forming a women’s commission.
“Women’s wrestling today is very spectacular. Very interesting to watch,” Lalovic said. “Why shouldn’t we be representative of women as well as men?”
The problem? Adding two weight classes for women means taking away two weight classes from men in the Olympics. But to be fair, men had fourteen weight classes in London – seven Greco-Roman and seven freestyle – and women only had four total, all in freestyle.
“I feel a little bit torn,” U.S. women’s national coach Terry Steiner said. “I do want more weights for women. I think they deserve that. But I don’t want to take away from the men. Men have already given a lot.
“I also think that it’s probably not even an issue. It’s more of either we’re going to change and try to save the sport of wrestling in the Olympic Games, or if we don’t change, there probably won’t be wrestling.”
Liang Chow, former coach of 2008 and 2012 Olympic champions Shawn Johnson and Gabby Douglas, hopes to return to the Games with a new gymnast in Rio.
Chow’s current group includes three recent members of U.S. junior and senior national teams — Norah Flatley, Rachel Gowey and Victoria Nguyen (who is too young for Rio).
However, none of the 14 current U.S. senior national team members train under Chow. Ultimately, the five-woman U.S. Olympic team will be named in July.
In the above NBC News profile, Chow discusses immigrating to the U.S. from China in 1991 and opening his gym in West Des Moines, Iowa.
Plus, Flatley, Gowey and Nguyen discuss being coached by Chow.
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Four Russians who won gold medals at the Sochi Olympics were on steroids at the time, a whistleblower who previously provided evidence of Russian track and field doping said, according to CBSNews.com.
The report doesn’t name the athletes or their sports. Nor does it say any of the athletes failed drug tests.
A “60 Minutes” piece on Russian doping will air Sunday on CBS between 7 and 8 p.m. ET. An excerpt will air on CBS Evening News on Friday between 6:30 and 7 ET.
The whistleblower is Vitaly Stepanov, a former Russian anti-doping official who, along with wife and former Russian 800m runner Yulia Stepanova, provided a 2014 German TV documentary undercover footage and evidence of Russian track and field doping.
Russia’s track and field federation was banned from competition in November. The suspension could last through the Rio Olympics.
The “60 Minutes” report cites Stepanov learning of Russian cheating at the Sochi Olympics from Grigory Rodchenkov, former director of a Moscow drug-testing lab that was stripped of its accreditation by the World Anti-Doping Agency in April.
In a November WADA independent commission report, Rodchenkov was alleged to have requested and accepted money to conceal positive drug tests. He immediately resigned.
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