Ministry asks IOA to take up wrestling's cause
New Delhi, Feb 20 : The sports ministry Wednesday urged the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to take up with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) the issue of dropping wrestling from the 2020 Olympic Games.
In a letter to IOA secretary general Randhir Singh, sports ministry secretary Pradeep Kumar Deb has said that the government believes that the decision to exclude the sport of wrestling from the 25 core sports of the Olympics needs to be reconsidered.
The Indian Olympic Association, headed by acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra, is the apex sports body recognised by the International Olympic Committee. Randhir Singh, who is IOA secretary general, is also a member of the IOC.
Deb in the letter reminded the IOA that India has won four medals from wrestling, which has been in the Olympics since the 1896 modern Games in Athens.
"It was also a part of the ancient Olympics in Greece. This ancient sport has helped Indian grapplers make a mark and bring India on the global sporting map. India has won four medals at the Olympic Games in wrestling. Wrestling is a popular sport not only in India but also in many other countries such as United States, Russia, Iran, Uzbekistan, Mangolia, Japan, China, etc," Deb said in the letter.
The letter said that the exclusion of wrestling from the Olympics is against tradition, which is so much a part of Olympics.