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   Tue, March 2, 2004



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Hands off wrestling

By Winnipeg Sun staff


The province isn't about to step into the wrestling ring.

Sixteen months after launching a review of the safety of professional wrestling, the Doer government yesterday released a report that concluded the industry should be able to regulate itself.

"That's the basis of how we're going to proceed," said Sport Minister Eric Robinson.

Robinson said the industry is generally safe for those involved. He stressed, however, that wrestling is entertainment, not sport. "It's not regarded as a sports issues but more as a workplace safety and health matter," he said.

The $20,000 review was launched in November 2002 after wrestler Scott Reid was injured in a Top Rope Championship Wrestling match at Doubles Fun Club in Winnipeg. Reid suffered what football players call a "stinger," resulting in temporary loss of movement and feeling in his legs.

He was taken to Health Sciences Centre by ambulance, where X-rays showed no serious damage, and released.

Mike Davidson, a consultant for Premier Championship Wrestling, which organizes bar shows, said the industry is prepared to better regulate itself.