Wrestling body downplays rules infringement
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Wrestling’s governing body has downplayed a warning from the IOC for a “minor infringement” of the rules in the bidding race for a spot in the 2020 Olympics.
FILA president Nenad Lalovic told The Associated Press the case involves letters sent by the Japanese wrestling federation to promote the sport to some IOC members. IOC rules prohibit the sports from sending such material in the three weeks before Sunday’s vote.
Lalovic said the “issue is closed” and he’s “absolutely sure that this letter didn’t hurt” the sport’s bid to return to the Olympic lineup.
He said he reported the infringement himself to the IOC once he learned of the Japanese letters.
“I immediately called the wrestling federation. They told me what they did and a minute later I was sending a letter to the IOC,” he said at a news conference in Buenos Aires later on Friday. “They understood their mistake. The issue is closed. Everything is explained.”
Wrestling, which was cut from the list of core sports in February, is competing against squash and a combined baseball-softball bid to be included in 2020, with wrestling widely expected to regain its Olympic status.
The IOC said in a letter on Tuesday to the two other sports that an official warning was sent to FILA on Aug. 20 and “the matter is now considered as closed.”
“This was a minor infringement of the rules and was dealt with immediately, no further action was necessary,” the IOC said in a separate statement to The AP.