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Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and U.S. movie actor Steven Seagal, left, speak to an athlete as they visit a new sports arena in Moscow, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. President Vladimir Putin has called for the revival of the Soviet-era physical evaluation program that required all schoolchildren to pass fitness tests. At right is President's aide Yuri Trutnev.
MOSCOW—Dropping wrestling from the Olympics would not sit well with Vladimir Putin.

Putin was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying Wednesday "the removal from the Olympic program of traditional forms of sports, which were its basis from the beginning and were in the program of the Olympic Games even in the time of ancient Greece ... is unjustified."

Putin says he hopes Russia will discuss the issue with the IOC.

Wrestling is one of Russia's strongest Olympic events, and sports officials have been upset by the IOC executive board's vote last month to drop the sport from the 2020 Games.

Wrestling's governing body will meet in Moscow on May 18 to elect a new president and make rules changes.

The final IOC decision on sports will be in September.