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    Wrestling will makes its case to IOC

    LONDON — Wrestling’s governing body has ‘‘reacted well’’ and made the necessary changes to give the sport a chance of saving its place in the Olympics, IOC president Jacques Rogge said Thursday.

    Rogge said FILA has dealt with the issues that led the IOC executive board in February to remove wrestling from the list of core sports for the 2020 Games.

    ‘‘I think they had the good answer and the good reaction,’’ he said. ‘‘They obviously were taken a bit by a surprise by the fact they could leave the core group.’’


    Rogge praised the measures approved by FILA at its congress in Moscow last weekend, including rule changes to make matches more compelling and the inclusion of women and athletes in decision-making positions.

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    Wrestling is now competing with seven other sports for a single spot on the 2020 program. The IOC board meets next week in St. Petersburg, Russia, and will recommend one sport or a short list of sports for a vote by the full IOC in September.

    ‘‘The federation definitely understood the reasons why they were ousted, and they reacted what they normally should have done,’’ Rogge said. ‘‘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.

    ‘‘That does not guarantee a spot in the short list or the single presentation.’’

    Wrestling, which dates to the ancient Olympics, remains on the lineup for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.


    New FILA president Nenad Lalovic believes the sport has done what it takes to return to the fold.

    ‘‘Yes, I do think so,’’ he said. ‘‘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.’’

    The other sports seeking inclusion in 2020 are squash, wakeboarding, karate, wushu, roller sports, and a combined baseball-softball bid. Those sports officials will make presentations to the IOC board on Wednesday in St. Petersburg.

    ‘‘Then we’ll have a debate whether the executive board will present one single sport to the session or whether the executive board would prefer to present a short list to the IOC session,’’ Rogge said.

    The board members will vote by secret ballot next week on which sport or sports to submit to the IOC assembly for the final vote Sept. 8 in Buenos Aires.


    There has been widespread speculation in Olympic circles that the board will recommend a list of three or four sports, including wrestling.

    ‘‘My position is very clear,’’ Rogge said. ‘‘Everything will happen on merit and respecting the rights of the federations.’’

    Under changes approved in Moscow, matches will consist of two 3-minute sessions instead of three 2-minute periods, and scoring will be cumulative instead of the previous two-out-of-three system. FILA also changed its constitution to include a female vice president.