Raphael Martinetti is no longer president of the international wrestling federation that governs the sport worldwide.
According to an announcement posted at the official FILA website, "a group of Eastern delegates accused him of being to blame for the eviction of wrestling as part of the 25 core sports for the 2020 Olympic Games. Mr. Martinetti asked for the Bureau's trust in leading the campaign to save wrestling in the coming months, but the Bureau only supported him by 50% of the votes. Mr. Martinetti did not use his casting vote to save his position and announced his resignation in order to give the chance to another President to act upon the situation. Mr. Martinetti will remain a Bureau member till the end of his term in 2014."
"The FILA Bureau nominated Mr. Nenad Lalovic (SRB) as acting President," the FILA statement continued.
A number of news sources, including the BBC, CBC, and ESPN, describe Martinetti's departure as a resignation from the head of the wrestling federation, while, in a story with a Moscow dateline, IBNLive.com reported "Martinetti has been fired after receiving a vote of no-confidence in the wake of the sport's exclusion from the group of core Olympic disciplines, a Russian official said "
FILA vice president Tomiaki Fukuda said the governing body would continue to discuss wrestling's plight during the organization's annual meeting at the Thailand resort.
What does Martinetti no longer serving as the FILA president -- a position he's held since 2002 -- mean for the future of Olympic wrestling?
USA Wrestling executive director Rich Bender paid credit to Martinetti but said his departure could boost the sport's chances of returning to the Olympic program.
"This decision provides international wrestling with an opportunity to change and improve," Bender said in a statement on U.S.A. Wrestling's website. "The sport will now be able to create a fresh new relationship with the International Olympic Committee and address some of the pressing challenges and opportunities facing wrestling."
Wrestling, which traces its roots to ancient times in various societies around the world, has been part of the modern Olympics since the inaugural Games in 1896.
What is FILA? In this case, it's not a line of sport clothing, but the organization that governs international wrestling. FILA stands for Federation Internationale des Luttes Associees; "luttes" being French for "wrestling."
The college wrestling season is here! Keep up with all the developments in the sport year round... by clicking the "sign up" button at the top of the page -- or click on the Twitter link below -- to make sure you don't miss a single article from College Wrestling Examiner, winner of Amateur Wrestling News' Dellinger Award as wrestling writer of 2011. It's absolutely FREE!