New wrestling chief promises swift rules overhaul

February 23, 2013 - 1:30 PM
Thailand Wrestling Chief Quits

International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) Interim President Nenad Lalovic of Serbia takes part in a FILA executive committee meeting in Phuket, Thailand, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. FILA President Raphael Martinetti quit Saturday in the wake of the IOC's decision to remove the sport from the 2020 Olympics. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT, NO LICENSING IN CHINA, HONG KONG, JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA AND FRANCE

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) — The new interim president of the international wrestling federation says reforming the sport's often incomprehensible rules will be a top priority while seeking to retain Olympic status.

Nenad Lalovic tells The Associated Press that wrestling is partly to blame for the International Olympic Committee's decision to drop the sport from its program for 2020.

Speaking by telephone from the federation's headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland, Lalovic acknowledged that wrestling had to improve its image. He says wrestling needs more user-friendly rules that would benefit spectators, television and athletes.

Lalovic says wrestling was caught off guard by the IOC decision and will have to prove it's worthy of remaining in the Olympics.