Thanks to a link in the twitter feed of Baseball GB’s Matt Smith, we receive news regarding the reinstatement of Baseball and Softball into the Olympics. The BBC reports on their website that the IOC has decided to cut five of the seven sports, which are considered for reinstatement into the Olympic program, already at a meeting in Berlin, Germany in August.
The seven sports hoping to be included in the 2016 Olympic Games will be cut to two at a meeting in Berlin ahead of a final decision later in 2009.
The original plan was for the sports to make presentations in June before going to Copenhagen for the vote in October.
But the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has now opted to cut five sports at August’s executive board meeting.
The new plan was announced after the first day of the IOC’s executive meeting in Denver, Colorado at the SportAccord, a major sport convention, where Baseball and Softball also present their case. During the August 13 meeting in Berlin, the IOC executive board will decide, which two of the seven sports will be voted on at the IOC congress in Copenhagen, Denmark in October. This means the IBAF Baseball World Cup could come too late to impress the many members of the IOC in Europe. Additionally a joint bid of Baseball and Softball probably would have bolstered the case, but ISF’s Don Porter didn’t want to do it. We have to stay positive and hope that the two sports make the cut.
While this will clearly streamline the agenda for the Copenhagen session, which also votes on which city will host the 2016 Games, it may annoy many of the candidate sports, particularly as they have all poured money into high-profile campaigns to gain Olympic status.
Many will also be irritated that their case will not be heard by the wider IOC electorate.
The IOC’s executive board is comprised of the Olympic movement’s president Jacques Rogge, four vice-presidents and 10 IOC members. Apart from the president, they are elected for four-year terms.