MOSCOW, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Elimination of wrestling from the Olympic Games would be unjustified, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.
"This is unjust to eliminate the traditional sport from the Olympic program which used to be there even in the antic Greece time", Putin told a meeting with the representatives of the International and Russian Sambo Federations.
Sambo, or a universal martial art, is a type of wrestling invented in the Soviet Union in 1950s, which later won recognition in many countries and regions.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced it would not recommend to include wrestling into the program of the Olympic Games in 2020 on Feb. 11. The final decision will be made in September at the 125th IOC session in Argentina.
Putin said the move to withdraw wrestling from the Olympics should be discussed with the IOC.
He also proposed to include sambo into the Games' program. " This would be just," he told the representatives of sambo federations from Britain, Maroc, Bulgaria, Italy, Belarus who have taken part in the meeting.
On Feb. 28, Alexander Zhukov, head of the Russian Olympic Committee, urged the athletes to undertake mass actions to demonstrate how popular that sport is prior to a meeting of the IOC Executive Committee due in St. Petersburg in May.
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