Wrestler returns gold in protest at sport's demise
SOFIA - Bulgarian wrestling federation president Valentin Yordanov sent back his Olympic gold medal from the 1996 Atlanta Games on Wednesday, protesting against the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommendation to drop the sport from the Games.
"As a sign of protest I am returning my gold medal, won at the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996, to the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne," seven-times world champion Yordanov wrote in a letter to IOC president Jacques Rogge shown at an emotional news conference.
The wrestling world was shocked last week when the IOC made a surprise recommendation to drop the sport from 2020.
"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," added the 53-year-old, who is also a seven-time European champion.