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IOC President Rogge praises wrestling as special sport within Olympic movement



International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge appeared at a press conference during the World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary to answer questions from the media in attendance on October 1

He was the guest of FILA President Raphael Martinetti and Hungarian Wrestling Federation president Csaba Hegedus at the competition.

"Wrestling has a special place in the Olympic movement," said Rogge to open his statements. It brings us back to the ancient Olympic Games to 773 before Christ. It is an important sport because of history. It has many advantages - a basic sport, a cheap sport, a universal sport."

"I wish to thank the wrestling federation for what it has done to make it more spectacular and understandable to the public, for its interest in advancing women in sport, and in the fight against doping," said Rogge.

When asked to evaluate the wrestling he watched this afternoon, Rogge indicated that it was "other than the television coverage at the Olympic Games, it is the same sport, the same rules and the same athletes."

Rogue also commented on the new rules of wrestling.

"The new system is very spectacular, especially in Greco-Roman," said Rogge.

Rogge would not comment on the request to bring the number of women wrestling medals from four to seven in future Olympic Games.

"A request of the IOC will be studied in three weeks in Lausanne," said Rogge. "I can not predict their action. The IOC is a democracy. It is not about one man."

When asked if wrestling will remain involved in the Olympic Games in the future, Rogge diplomatically sidestepped the question.

"If wrestling continues to be a universal sport, continues to have good refereeing and scoring, if wrestling action continues to be spectacular and the sport fights against doping, wrestling should have nothing to worry about," said Rogge.

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