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Olympic Inclusion ...

Nervous Sports Federations Plan Special Meeting in Advance of Olympic Vote

Federations Could Try to Block Any Changes in Olympic Roster

By Robert "Just the Factoids" Burnson

The association that represents the 28 current Summer Olympic sports has called a special meeting to discuss new procedures for deciding which sports should remain in the Games.

The meeting of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) will be June 8th in Geneva.

Participants at the meeting will discuss the procedures, announced last week by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), for deciding which sports, if any, to oust or add to the 2012 Olympic Games.

Under the procedures, all of the current summer sports will be put to the vote at the IOC meeting in Singapore on July 8th.

Any sport that does not win the support of a majority of members will be ousted from the Games.

If any sports are ousted, the IOC's executive committee will propose replacements, presumably from a list of five sports under study for Olympic inclusion.

Those sports are inline speed skating (under the heading "roller sports"), golf, rugby, squash and karate.

IOC members will be required to approve any new sport by a two-thirds majority.

Most of the 117 voting IOC members are current or former leaders of various sports federations. So they have the power, if they hang together, to block any changes in the Olympic roster.

They managed to do this in 2002 when IOC president Jacques Rogge proposed ousting baseball, softball and modern pentathlon from the Games.

In fact, they've been guarding their turf successful since 1936, which was the last time any sport (polo) was cut from the Summer Olympics.

Denis Oswald, president of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations, says several members asked him to call the special meeting.

Most of federations think that the overall Olympic review process is fair, Oswald said.

"We felt, however, that it was important to give the (international federations) the opportunity to express their views on this final phase and to ask the IOC for clarification on a number of specific points.”

He did not say what points.

The association's meeting will be closed to the public.

"Due to limitations in space, it will not be possible to open the assembly to the media," the association announced in a press release.

With all the money association members get from Olympic television contracts, you would think they could afford a bigger room!

(posted on April 28, 2005)


Related Reading:

The roller federation's Olympic proposal

Olympic Inclusion

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