British wrestlers suffer technical knockout at hands of BOA
Tuesday, 29 May 2012
May 29 - Just one wrestler will be competing for Team GB at London 2012 this summer after the British Olympic Association (BOA) ruled that the sport was not up to the standards required to send more.
The decision was made by the Olympic Qualification Standards (OQS) panel, which consists of chief executive and Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt, deputy Chefs de Mission Sir Clive Woodward and Mark England and Sarah Winckless, chairman of the BOA Athletes' Commission - have requested for more details regarding selection policy.
British wrestling had requested three spots at the Olympics, but it will be just Olga Butkevych (pictured), a Ukrainian-born athlete who became eligible for a British passport earlier this year, representing the hosts in the women's under 55kg.
She has previously won a European bronze medal for Britain at last year's European Championships, as well as a silver at the Olympic test event at the ExCel Centre.
Another Ukrainian born wrestler, Oleksandr Madyarchyk, and Leon Rattigan (pictured below in red), who is from Bristol, both missed out as a result of the ruling.
Yana Stadnik, the first woman to win a European Championship medal for Britain, also misses the Olympics as she failed to get a UK passport.
"The Olympic Qualification Standards (OQS) Panel concluded that British Wrestling had not met the performance standard it had proposed, and agreed, with the BOA in 2011," the BOA said in a statement.
"In light of this, the OQS Panel determined that it would award only one host nation qualification place, rather than the three that had been requested by British Wrestling, and that place will be in the women's under-55 kg weight category."
It was ironic that Butkevych is the only British competitor at the Olympics as the BOA criticised British Wrestling for failing to do more to bring through home grown athletes.
The body has been criticised for allowing so called "Plastic Brits" from Eastern Europe to compete for the country.
"The OQS Panel also determined that more work needs to be done in order to ensure a meaningful post-Games legacy for wrestling, including much greater emphasis on increasing participation at the grass-roots level in the UK and a clear performance plan to qualify athletes by right for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games," the BOA added.
May 2012: British wrestler set to miss London 2012 after positive drugs test
March 2012: Ukrainian-born female wrestlers fail to secure UK passport in time for London 2012
January 2012: Government set to shut door on "Plastic Brits"
December 2011: Alan Hubbard - "Plastic Brits" wrestling policy contrary to Olympic spirit
December 2011: London 2012 wrestling test event overshadowed by criticism from FILA President