Putin, Lalovic talk wrestling in Sochi

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to the media while visiting the Coastal Cluster Olympic Village ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics on Wednesday, Feb. 5, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Pascal Le Segretain, Pool)
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to the media while visiting the Coastal Cluster Olympic Village ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics on Wednesday, Feb. 5, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Pascal Le Segretain, Pool)

The head of wrestling’s international governing body has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi to discuss the sport’s Olympic future.

The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles says its president, Nenad Lalovic, met this week with Putin and a delegation that included Olympic great Alexander Karelin at the site of the Sochi Olympics.

Putin pledged his continued support for Olympic wrestling. Putin also was presented with the federation’s highest honor, the “Gold Necklace,” for his contribution to the movement to save Olympic wrestling.

The International Olympic Committee recommended last winter that wrestling be removed from the Olympic program in 2020. But the federation and major wrestling nations like Russia, the United States and Iran spearheaded a successful push to reinstate the sport.

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