Rome

Olympic head irked by reported TV ban on combat sports

'Boxing, judo, wrestling, taekwondo bar to shield children'

Olympic head irked by reported TV ban on combat sports

(ANSA) - Rome, September 27 - Reports of a decision by Italy's national broadcaster against televising sports deemed violent when children might be watching was denounced Thursday by the head of the country's Olympic organization. "I learn with disbelief and dismay that Rai has decided not to broadcast during prime-time Olympic sports such as boxing, judo, wrestling, and taekwondo," to shield children, said Gianni Petrucci, head of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI). He was reacting to published newspaper reports suggesting Italy's public broadcaster Rai was planning to limit the hours when it would televise sports believed too violent for children to see. Calling it "an affront" to sport, Petrucci said the decision was "a serious act and unheard of," adding he will raise the issue with Rai executives. The success of the recent London 2012 Olympic Games which included such sports as boxing, judo, wresting, and taekwondo have boosted interest in these events and even led parents to enrol their children in training in these fields, he noted.

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