Judo and cycling group leaders clash over which sport should be in Summer Olympics
International Judo Federation (IJF) president Marius Vizer hit out at cycling counterpart Brian Cookson on Wednesday following comments the latter made about moving judo to the Winter Olympics.
Last week Cookson, who took over from Pat McQuaid as International Cycling Union (UCI) president last September, said that sports such as judo, badminton and cycling could be moved from the Summer Olympics to the Winter Games to ease pressure on the traditional summer showpiece.
Briton Cookson said he would be in favour of moving track cycling — which like judo and badminton takes place indoors — to the Winter Olympics if that could mean an increase in the number of events and participants.
But any suggestion that judo be moved from the more lucrative Summer Games earnt a comical rebuke from Romanian Vizer.
“I have always admired British humour and I can say now that certainly, the UCI President is not lacking it,” said Vizer in a statement.
“In any case, as new President of an International Federation (namely the International Cycling Union), I wish Mr. Cookson good luck and I am available anytime to support him in better understanding the world sports movement and in avoiding press communications at times when he actually does not have any message to transmit.”
Last week Cookson said: “If you have a problem with Summer Olympics where the whole thing is perceived as over-heated with too many facilities, too many sports, too many competitors and so on, why not look at moving some of the other sports that traditionally take place in the winter in the northern hemisphere indoors.
“So why not look at combat sports like judo, or other indoor sports like badminton, you could even say what about putting track cycling in the Winter Olympics?
“If we moved track cycling to the Winter Olympics and that allowed us to have more track cycling events and more medals then that could be a pretty good outcome.”
[Image via Agence France-Presse]