The coach of a gold medal-winning Russian wrestler has claimed that the sport’s demotion by the Olympic committee is part of a conspiracy by “sexual minorities” that heralds the end of the world.

On Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted to cut wrestling from the list of 25 sports confirmed for the 2020 Olympic Games. It will now vie for a place in the Games alongside seven other sports, including roller skating and wushu.

The reasons behind the decision to cut wrestling, which is among the oldest of the Olympic sports, were not given, although one source from within the IOC suggested that television ratings were to blame.

Speaking to R-Sport, coach Vladimir Uruimagov gave his own speculation as to why the committee had demoted wrestling, suggesting it was a gay conspiracy.

He said: “If they expel wrestling now, that means that gays will soon run the whole world.”

Mr Uruimagov, who coached London 2012 champion Alan Khugaev and Athens 2004 champion Khasan Baroev, called the decision “a blow to masculine origins.”

He continued: “It turns out this committee [the IOC] is headed by representative of these minorities,” and clarified he meant “sexual minorities”.

In fact the IOC and its head, Jacques Rogge, came under fire from gay rights activists last year for failing to challenge homophobic countries.

Mr Uruimagov called on wrestling fans to petition the IOC to guarantee wrestling’s place as an Olympic sport and to ensure the continuation of the human race.

“It is necessary for millions around the world who understand that this is a man’s sport and who understand the need to continue the human race to go out and explain their position to the Olympic Committee,” he said. “We should prove and explain that in any other case there is no future.”