Russian President Putin meets FILA President Lalovic in Sochi and supports Olympic wrestling

By Bob Condron | Feb. 05, 2014, 12:45 p.m. (ET)
Photo of FILA President Nenad Lalovic and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a 2013 meeting. Lalovic and Putin met again at the Olympics in Sochi, Russia on Tuesday where Putin endorsed wrestling.

SOCHI, RUSSIA--Russian President Vladimir Putin and Nenad Lalovic, President of the International Wrestling Federation (FILA), met in Sochi Tuesday and discussed the further development of the sport of wrestling and the sport keeping a place in the Olympic Games program.

Attending the meeting with President Putin was the Russian Minister of Sport, Vitaly Mutko; President of the Russian Wrestling Federation and three -time Olympic champion Michael Mamiashvili,; State Duma deputy Alexander Karelin, head of the working group FILA "Wrestling -2020” and one of the best wrestlers in history; Georgi Brusov, Secretary General of the Russian Wrestling Federation; and executive member of Russian Wrestling Federation Basir Batalov.

“It is hard to imagine the Olympic program without wrestling and athletics,” said President Putin. “These sports are very significant for the Olympic movement as well as Mozart and Tchaikovsky for music ", he said. "I remember well a few years ago I took part in wrestler’s training, and what exciting tricks they demonstrated in freestyle and Greco-Roman style. Wrestling is an amazing show, but it is necessary to promote it properly on television and use modern PR tools and techniques.,” he said. “Wrestling ‘s position should be strengthened” , he stated.

Mr. Lalovic presented President Putin the highest award of FILA, the “Gold Necklace”. It was awarded for a decisive contribution to the “Save Olympic Wrestling” program. "Complex reforms that allowed wrestling to keep a place in the Olympic family, was carried out in the shortest possible time,” said Lalovic. “Without the decisive support of Russia, and personally Vladimir Putin, these changes would have been impossible."

About FILA
FILA, the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, is the global governing body of the sport of wrestling. It works to promote the sport and facilitate the activities of its 177 national federations from around the world. It is based in Corsier-Sur-Vevey, Switzerland.

To learn more about FILA visit its official website,; Facebook page,, or Twitter handle, @FILA_Official.