Russian wrestler returns Olympic gold in protest

Last updated 08:25 27/02/2013

Relevant offers

Other Sports

Brian Minto barred from attending Joseph Parker fight and says move is 'childish' Fiona Bourke, Chris Harris among changes in New Zealand team for world champs Spanish/Brazilian team Vidaraid runners-up in Godzone adventure race in Wanaka Paralympian Corey Peters wins para-alpine world title Peyton Manning takes pay cut to return for 18th NFL season Round the Bays gets Auckland moving Small boat changes likely for big Rowing NZ team for upcoming world champs Team Seagate claim fourth Godzone title in Wanaka Queenstown bike festival loses Kiwis, gains internationals Ex-NRL star Jarryd Hayne signs three-year deal with NFL team San Francisco 49ers

Russia's Sagid Murtazaliev has become the second wrestler in the last few days to return his Olympic gold medal in protest against the sport's possible exclusion from the Games.

"I must admit it was a tough decision," Murtazaliev, who won gold in freestyle wrestling at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, was quoted as saying by the local outlet R-Sport on Tuesday.

"But after thinking it over, I decided to follow the example of Valentin Yordanov," he said in a reference to the seven-times world champion from Bulgaria who last week sent his 1996 Olympic gold medal back to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Murtazaliev said he has also written a letter to IOC president Jacques Rogge, protesting against the IOC executive board's recommendation to drop the sport in 2020.

The decision has outraged the wrestling community throughout the world, with several countries, including the sport's superpowers Russia, Japan and the United States, lobbying the IOC to keep the ancient sport on the Olympic programme.

Part of the first modern Olympics in 1896 and all further editions, except the 1900 Paris Games, wrestling now joins seven other candidates battling for one spot in a revamped programme.

The IOC executive board will meet in St Petersburg in May to determine which of them will be put to the vote at the IOC session in Buenos Aires in September.

"I felt I had to do something to try to keep wrestling as part of the Olympics," Murtazaliev, 38, now a member of parliament in his native republic of Dagestan in the North Caucasus, said. 

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Shane Cameron beat Kali Meehan on Saturday?

For sure. Cameron will knock him out.

It will be close but I think Cameron on points.

Meehan will knock him out. This is his last fight.

I'm tipping Meehan to win on points.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content