Bulgarian wrestler to return Olympic gold

Published: Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 12:08 p.m. CDT

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Top Bulgarian wrestler Valentin Yordanov says he’s returning his Olympic gold medal to protest the IOC decision to drop wrestling from the Olympic program.

The 53-year-old Yordanov made the announcement Wednesday to give back his gold medal in the 52-kilogram freestyle category from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

The seven-time world champion said the combined efforts of all national federations would help keep wrestling’s deserved place in the Olympic Games.

Bulgarians have won 16 Olympic titles, making wrestling the most successful Olympic sport in the Balkan country.

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