PHUKET THAILAND – The world governing body for wrestling on Saturday ousted its president, Raphael Martinetti, amid fallout from the International Olympic Committee’s controversial axing of wrestling as a core sport for the 2020 Summer Games.
According to FILA vice president Tomiaki Fukuda, Martinetti was issued a vote of no confidence by his peers at a FILA bureau meeting which the Swiss left halfway through. The meeting went on to be chaired by vice president Matteo Pellicone.
Fukuda said the bureau was to discuss wrestling’s potential elimination from 2020 later the same day. The IOC decided to remove wrestling from a list of 25 core sports on Tuesday.
“We will discuss in what ways we can bring wrestling back, but if nothing is decided today we’ll continue our discussions tomorrow,” said Fukuda.
Martinetti said he had come under great pressure to stand down from other members, in particular Russia, before the vote was taken.
Wrestling is among eight sports competing for the last of 28 events at the 2020 Olympics. Baseball and softball, squash, karate, roller sports, wakeboarding, sport climbing and wushu are the others.
An IOC executive board meeting is set for May in St. Petersburg, Russia, to decide which sport to propose for 2020. The final decision will come down at the IOC assembly in September in Buenos Aires, where the host of the 2020 Games will be decided.