In a rather surprising move Tuesday the International Olympic Committee announced that the wrestling program will be no more.  Wrestling is one of the oldest sports competed in at the Olympics and one that Canada has done rather well at in recent years.


Don Ryan, president of Wrestling Canada, said he was “deeply surprised”.


“Canada’s wrestling programs have been strong and successful at the  international level, and posted strong results in the recent Games,” he said in  a statement. “We have a strong international federation (FILA) and we will work  closely with them as called upon to lobby and appeal to the IOC members to  reverse this decision that has yet to be ratified by the IOC.”


Ratificaton however appears to be only a technicality and once the process is completed wrestling will be removed from the 2020 games onward.


Wrestling’s loss however will be another sports gain though as the decision now opens up a spot for another Olympic entry.


“This is a process of renewing and renovating the program for the Olympics,” IOC  spokesman Mark Adams said. “In the view of the executive board, this was the  best program for the Olympic Games in 2020. It’s not a case of what’s wrong with  wrestling, it is what’s right with the 25 core sports.”


Wrestling was voted out from a final group that also included modern pentathlon,  taekwondo and field hockey, officials familiar with the vote told The Associated  Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the voting details were not made public.


Wrestling will now join seven other sports in applying for inclusion in 2020.  The others are a combined bid from baseball and softball, karate, squash, roller  sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu. They will be vying for a single  opening in 2020.


It is extremely unlikely that wrestling would be voted back in so soon after  being removed by the executive board.


“Today’s decision is not final,” Adams said. “The session is sovereign and  the session will make the final decision.”


The last sports removed from the Olympics were baseball and softball, voted  out by the IOC in 2005 and off the program since the 2008 Beijing Games. Golf  and rugby will be joining the program at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

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