In perhaps a rare moment of solidarity, wrestlers from Iran and the U.S. will be among representatives of eight other countries that will join together at the World Cup tournament in Tehran on Thursday to protest the recent move to ban the sport from the Olympics after 2016, according to a report from the Associated Press.
The wrestlers will lie on their mat's to protest the ruling from the International Olympic Committee that seeks to ban wrestling, a sport as old as the Olympics, starting with the 2020 Olympics. The decision to go forward with the protest was made on Wednesday during a meeting of delegations of the sport from 10 countries; Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Georgia, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, the U.S., Russia and Turkey met to discuss ways to compel the IOC to reverse the decision. The wrestlers will also observe a minute of silence in an effort to show their opposition to the decision. Fifteen members of the Committee already voted to do away with the sport earlier in February after being presented with statistics across 39 categories, including TV ratings, ticket sales, anti-doping policies and global participation and popularity. The decision does not go into effect unless it is confirmed by the full IOC in a vote scheduled for September.