Russian wrestler returns Olympic gold in protest

Last updated 08:25 27/02/2013

Relevant offers

Other Sports

America's Cup pow-wow proves to be 'positive' Joseph Parker still sweating on passport problem Rio Olympics sailing venue likened to a sewer Russell Coutts: 'It's best that you not come' Kiwis claim six golds at world rowing champs Terrorist threat at US surfing event Quiz: Test your sports knowledge - July 29 Tour de France rider shows 3663km of leg wear Sarah Walker finishes fifth at BMX Worlds Vincenzo Nibali wins Tour de France title

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

Of these accolades, which would you like to win most?

Football's golden ball

Commonwealth Games gold

US Open tennis title

World Cup of Darts

Tour de France yellow jersey

British Open golf title

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content