For the second time in two weeks, an Olympic gold medalist has returned their medal in protest of the International Olympic Committee’s decision vote wrestling out of the 2020 Summer Olympics, reports USA Today.
Russia’s Sagid Murtazaliev, who won heavyweight freestyle gold at the 2000 Games in Sydney followed Bulgarian champion Valentin Yordanov, who sent back his gold medal from 1996 Atlanta Games last week.
“The decision to return my Olympic medal was not easy for me,” Murtazaliev said in a letter addressed to IOC president Jacques Rogge and obtained by RIA Novosti. ”With this act I express my solidarity with the millions of athletes and fans of our sport who are condemning the recommendation of the IOC. Our sport is an integral part of the Olympic movement and one of the foundations of both the ancient and modern Olympics.”
The IOC’s executive board is scheduled to meet in May in St. Petersburg, Russia. They will then decide what sport or sports to recommend for inclusion for the 2020 games. A final vote will be conducted in September in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Some of the candidates are wrestling, baseball/softball, karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding and wushu.