Jacques Rogge praises wrestling’s recent moves


The IOC’s recommendation to remove wrestling from the Olympics shocked FILA and the community, but IOC President Jacques Rogge said Thursday that he’s thinks FILA reacted well, and that last week’s meeting in Moscow, which included naming new leadership and making significant rules changes, was good for the sport.

“I think they had the good answer and the good reaction,” Rogge told the Associated Press. “They obviously were taken a bit by a surprise by the fact they could leave the core group.”

“The federation definitely understood the reasons why they were ousted, and they reacted what they normally should have done. They did a good job on that, so we’ll see what the judgment is of the executive board on all of the eight sports, but definitely I would say that wrestling has reacted well.”

Rogge added that this doesn’t guarantee them a spot on the shortlist, much less immediate re-admission to the Olympics. But he’s proud of the quick steps they made to address their “shortcomings.”

All told, since the February decision FILA replaced its failed leadership, changed the round format from three two-minute periods to two three-minute periods, changed to a cumulative scoring system rather than a system where a wrestler has to outscore their opponent in two-out-of-three rounds, and added penalties against passive wrestlers to make the sport more aggressive and entertaining. But is it enough?

“Yes, I do think so,” new FILA President Nenad Lalovic said Thursday. “But there is no guarantee because the other competitors are strong. We did what we could in such a short time. I’m not sure if it’s enough, but we did all that’s possible. We did all that we could.”