British Wrestling Defend Policy after FILA Criticism

By Community | August 12, 2012

British wrestling have defended their policy of foreign imports following an attack from the sport’s international governing body.

FILA president Raphael Martinetti slammed Team GB for only fielding one athlete when they were awarded three places.

Leon Rattigan and Oleksandr Madyarchyk were ruled as not good enough to compete by the British Olympic Association despite narrowly missing qualifying targets.

“FILA is not used to having host nation places returned to it,” said British wrestling chief Colin Nicholson. “That was the result of a BOA policy, a policy of returning host nation places where the agreed selection criteria hasn’t been met.

“There is no doubt that British Wrestling was able to field three credible athletes at the Olympics.

“The other two athletes (Rattigan and Madyarchyk) have both beaten other wrestlers who are participating in the Olympic Games in previous competitions.”

It meant only Ukraine-born Olga Butkevych was Britain’s only representative – and she crashed out of the -55kg freestyle in the first round.

“The policy of bringing training partners to Britain was to raise standards,” Nicholson said of the policy that began five years ago.