SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Top Bulgarian wrestler Valentin Yordanov has said he will return his Olympic gold medal to protest the IOC decision to drop wrestling from the Olympic program.

Yordanov, 53, announced on Wednesday his decision to return his gold medal in his 52-kilogram freestyle category from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

The seven-time world champion says 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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