[QODLink]
2013

IOC set to cut one Olympic sport

Sports such as modern pentathlon, taekwondo, wrestling, badminton and table tennis under scrutiny for 2020 Games.
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2013 17:50
One out of the 26 summer sports face the chop from the 2020 Games, including sports like modern pentathlon, above [GALLO/GETTY]

IOC leaders are meeting this week to decide which sport to drop from the Olympic program and how to deal with the fallout from the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

At a two-day IOC executive board meeting opening Tuesday, the IOC will also review preparations for the Winter Olympics in Sochi - less than a year away - and the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, as well as select a short list of finalists for the 2018 Youth Olympics.

Modern pentathlon, a tradition-steeped contest invented by the founder of the modern Olympics, is expected to face close scrutiny when the board considers which of the current 26 summer Olympic sports to remove from the program of the 2020 Games.

Taking out one sport will make way for a new sport to be added to the program later this year.

London feedback

The executive board will review a report from the IOC program commission assessing each of the sports contested at last summer's London Olympics.

The report analyses more than three dozen criteria, including television ratings, ticket sales, anti-doping policy and global participation and popularity. With no official rankings or recommendations contained in the report, the final decision by the 15-member executive board will likely be influenced by political, emotional and sentimental factors.

Among the sports considered the most vulnerable is modern pentathlon, which was created for the Olympics by French baron Pierre de Coubertin. It has been on the program since the 1912 Stockholm Games, where George S. Patton - the future US Army general - finished fifth.

Modern pentathlon combines fencing, horse riding, swimming, running and shooting - the five skills required of a 19th century cavalry officer. The sport's governing body, the UIPM, has been lobbying hard to protect its Olympic status.

UIPM President Klaus Schormann said his sport has broadened its appeal with a one-day format while also upholding the traditions of the past and the legacy of De Coubertin.

"The Olympic movement always needs history,'' he told The Associated Press.

"You cannot just say we look only at the future. You can have a future when you are stable on the basic part of history. We are continuing to develop, to renovate, to be innovative and creative. We are very proud of what we achieved so far and want to deliver this as well for the next generations in 2020.''

Under scrutiny

Taekwondo, the Korean martial art that has been in the Olympics since 2000, has also been mentioned as being among the sports in potential danger.

The sport introduced a new scoring system in London to eliminate judging controversies and the gold medals, previously dominated by South Koreans, were spread among eight different nations.

The future of wrestling, badminton and table tennis have also been the subject of speculation.

The last sports removed from the Olympics were baseball and softball, voted out by the IOC in 2005 and off the program since the 2008 Beijing Games. Joining the program at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro will be golf and rugby.

Baseball and softball have combined forces to seek inclusion in 2020, competing against karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu. Whichever sport is dropped Tuesday will join those seven vying for the single opening in 2020.

The IOC executive board will meet in May in St. Petersburg, Russia, to decide which sport or sports to propose for 2020 inclusion. The final vote will be made at the IOC general assembly in September in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Doping fallout

This week, the IOC will also discuss the crisis in cycling following the doping revelations that led to Armstrong being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life from elite sports. Armstrong was also stripped by the IOC of his bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Games, though the medal has not yet been returned.

The international cycling federation, the UCI, has been in open conflict with the World Anti-Doping Agency over the terms of any "truth and reconciliation'' process offering amnesties to those who come forward with information. UCI President Pat McQuaid has written all IOC members seeking their support. He also is reportedly seeking help to fund the process.

The IOC appears unlikely to get directly involved, seeking instead to encourage the UCI and WADA to work together.

"The IOC could maybe play a role as a kind of facilitator,'' IOC vice president Thomas Bach told the AP.

On another matter, the IOC will reduce the field of candidates for the 2018 Summer Youth Games. The five bidders are Buenos Aires; Glasgow, Scotland; Guadalajara, Mexico; Medellin, Colombia; and Rotterdam, Netherlands.

At least two are expected to make the list of finalists, with the winner to be announced in June. The first Youth Olympics were held in 2010 in Singapore, with the 2014 edition taking place in Nanjing, China.

870

Source:
AP
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Error processing SSI file
Featured
The new military government has issued warnings that it will soon start to clampdown on immigration offenders.
As Snowden awaits Russian visa renewal, the world mulls role of NSA and expects more revelations from document trove.
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
join our mailing list