HASSAN Shahsavan is on the mat — rocked by the International Olympic Committee plan to dump wrestling from the 2020 Olympics.
The two-time Olympian was "shocked" and "saddened" by the news, which will have huge ramifications for the sport worldwide.
A final vote on Greco-Roman wrestling's future as an Olympic sport will be held in September.
It's then that the IOC will consider it alongside sports such as baseball, karate, squash and wakeboarding.
Shahsavan couldn't understand how an original Olympic sport could be axed in favour of a new one.
"Wrestling's not very popular here in Australia but in eastern Europe and in my homeland of Iran it's our national sport," he said. "It would be the equivalent of telling Australians that swimming is no longer an Olympic sport."
Now semi-retired, 36-year-old Shahsavan works as a wrestling coach at Bulldog Gym, Parramatta.
He trains Australia's next generation of wrestlers.
Mehrdad Shahsavan (Carlingford), Iman Makavi (Castle Hill) and Mostafa Rezai Fav (Merrylands) are touted for representative honours.
"It's a real pity because as it stands these wrestlers won't have the opportunity to represent Australia at an Olympics," Shahsavan said.
"At the Beijing Olympics I had hundreds of school children writing to me with letters of encouragement."