In an a statement released along with the announcement of wrestling’s elimination IOC spokesman Mark Adams said, “This is a process of renewing and renovating the program for the Olympics.”

He added, “In the view of the executive board, this was the best program for the Olympic Games in 2020. It’s not a case of what’s wrong with wrestling, it is what’s right with the (other) 25 core sports.”

The 48-year-old lawmaker, who was Ohio State University’s assistant wrestling coach, is vowing to fight for his beloved sport, saying, “I look forward to working with my friends in the wrestling community toward reversing this ruling.”

Wrestling has been a part of every modern Olympic Games since 1896. The sport may now face the Olympic match of its life — it’s in a showdown with seven other athletic activities (including baseball and softball, squash, karate, roller sports, wushu, wakeboarding and sport climbing) that are battling for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics.