Wrestling, taekwondo leave umbrella sports body in protest
Wrestling and taekwondo on Monday became the latest sports to cut ties with the umbrella body for international federations after its president launched a scathing attack on the IOC.
United World Wrestling and the World Taekwondo Federation announced their split from SportAccord, which represents Olympic and non-Olympic sports.
The move came a few weeks after SportAccord head Marius Vizer delivered a sharply-worded speech criticizing the International Olympic Committee and its president, Thomas Bach.
In his opening address at the SportAccord convention in Sochi, Vizer blasted Bach’s leadership and called the IOC system ”expired, outdated, wrong, unfair and not at all transparent.”
That prompted several sports to quit SportAccord, including athletics, boxing and shooting. The Association of Summer Olympic International Federations suspended ties with Vizer.
Wrestling federation chief Nenad Lalovic said in a statement Monday that his sport ”shall refrain to participate in the activities and games organized by SportAccord, until the relations with ASOIF has improved to the latter’s satisfaction.”
”This was a difficult decision, in particular as we have worked closely with SportAccord in the past to secure additional opportunities for wrestling and traditional wrestling,” Lalovic said. ”I sincerely hope that the crisis within SportAccord can be resolved soon, in the best interest of sport.”
The taekwondo federation said it was suspending its membership in SportAccord with immediate effect and pulling out of the 2017 World Combat Games, a multi-sport event which Vizer oversees. The decision came at the WTF general assembly in Chelyabinsk, Russia, ahead of the world taekwondo championships.
WTF President Chungwon Choue said taekwondo is based on ”self-discipline, integrity and respect and at the WTF we believe we have an obligation to stay true to these values.”
Boxing also recently pulled out of the World Combat Games.
Archery and canoeing suspended their membership in SportAccord last month.