A final decision on eliminating the sport, which has been a part of every Games since 1896 barring one, will be taken in September.
Wrestling’s exclusion comes as a shock as modern pentathlon was the favourite to get the axe. The decision to drop wrestling was taken by the IOC executive board by a secret ballot over a number of rounds in Lausanne, Switzerland. In the final round, hockey was left with wrestling and modern pentathlon.
The board voted after reviewing a IOC programme commission report that analysed 39 criteria, including television ratings, ticket sales, anti-doping policy, global participation and popularity. The decision was also subject to political and sentimental factors.
IOC spokesperson Mark Adams, however, said there was still hope for wrestling to stay until the final decision in September. India has won four Olympic wrestling medals, including two at London 2012.