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Woohoo! Hot off the wires:

PARIS, June 21, 2007 (AFP) - The Olympic Games merry-go-round of summer sports is set to come to an end according to International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge on Thursday.

Speaking in a telephone conference, the Belgian said that after next year's event in Beijing, the summer Games programme will consist of a permanent base of 25 sports with up to three possible additions for each new tournament.

That will be ratified at the next IOC congress in Guatemala City next month.

``For the Olympic programme there is a new procedure in place that will have to be submitted to the session in Guatemala,'' said Rogge.

``There will be a core group of 25 sports and above that three more to be voted for by the commission.''

In Beijing there will be 26 sports but one of those will then be dropped from the list of protected disciplines.

Once among the 25 protected sports, those disciplines will be largely untouchable.

``The core sports would only change for serious circumstances,'' added Rogge.

The number of added sports, up to three, will be decided on a Games by Games basis.

Doping was also on the agenda with Rogge insisting that the IOC will push Spanish authorities to allow evidence from the bungled Operation Puerto investigation to be used against suspected dope cheats in cycling.

He also discussed the subject of stripping past Olympic medal winners who subsequently admit to or are found guilty of doping of the medals they won.

``We have to respect the law and the rights of the athletes and judicial rules,'' he said.

``From a practical point of view, no way can we strip medals from more than three years back.

``These athletes are Olympic champions but only by name, they don't have the moral rights of being a champion.''

Rogge was also asked on who he thought would win the right to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, with Sochi, Pyeongchang and Salzburg in the running.

The winner will be decided next month in Guatemala.

``I believe it will be very close. There are three candidates of a very high quality,'' said Rogge.

``What will make the difference is the confidence the IOC has in the bid committee. The human factor is very important.''

This is the formula I've always been in favour of. Similar to the Commonwealth Games fomula, but instead of half-a-dozen core sports there's 25. Surely this is the best way to balance the vested interests of so many olympic Sports, but free the program up for each host to tailor it its best interests, capabilities and local sporting interests. I like this idea a lot.

So, what would the core 25 sports be?

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I think there's a lot of sense to it. As to what the core sports would be, I'd say most, if not all, are fairly obvious.

Yeah, certainly most are obvious. But 25 core sports is still going to mean that one from the Beijing program is going to lose its status. Personally, Id love to see the end of Modern Pentathlon, but I can see the traditionalists in uproar on that one.

I'd say boxing or badminton will be the "victims".

Well, we've been discussing this in the boxing thread. I'll say what I said there. I'm no fan, it has its judging problems, but as an amateur event with huge support and participation by non-traditional sporting powers, I;d think it's too valuable for the games to let go.

Badminton? It's hugely popular in South East Asia. I'd expect a traditional old style "western" sport to go before badminton.

The counter-question is: Assuming the policy is in place for London _ what 3 extra sports would the UK choose to bring in for 2012?

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For sports that are hugely popular in Asia, we already have Judo, Taekwondo, Table Tennis (also popular in Europe - Denmark, no?) so I don't think they should be offended if it got dropped, even though my personal taste would prefer badminton to stay instead of boxing.

Yeah, I forgot Modern Pentathlon! Does it have a visible popularity, many athletes around the world? Actually, now that I think more about it, I can't recall ever having listening to any news about it during Athens 2004. Still, I believe my country traditionally has sent some pentathletes.

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For sports that are hugely popular in Asia, we already have Judo, Taekwondo, Table Tennis (also popular in Europe - Denmark, no?) so I don't think they should be offended if it got dropped, even though my personal taste would prefer badminton to stay instead of boxing.

Yeah, I forgot Modern Pentathlon! Does it have a visible popularity, many athletes around the world? Actually, now that I think more about it, I can't recall ever having listening to any news about it during Athens 2004. Still, I believe my country traditionally has sent some pentathletes.

Denmark is good at Badminton, Taekwondo has a very diverse range of winners, Norway to Iran to Korea, Jude has powers outside of Japan with France and Canada consitently producing good judokas.

If any of the asian sports should go in my mind it should be table tennis, 30 of 96 medals since 1988 have gone to a country other than China, many of them because China can not send 3 teams or individuals per event, only 2. This kind of dominence, with signs fo getting worse in my mind make it a good sport to be dropped.

In my mind, the list of possible per games sports is more interesting than the list of sports that that will remain, because sports like pelote basque or wushu are recognized, but have no right to be in the olympics because of the lack of worldwide participation.

Out of the recongized sports I would only think that

Boules

Karate

Golf

Rubgy

Squash would be able to compete along with Baseball, Softball and with ever of the 26 don't get taken up.

I would assume that London would use boules, golf and rugby as their 3 sports.

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Denmark is good at Badminton, Taekwondo has a very diverse range of winners, Norway to Iran to Korea, Jude has powers outside of Japan with France and Canada consitently producing good judokas.

If any of the asian sports should go in my mind it should be table tennis, 30 of 96 medals since 1988 have gone to a country other than China, many of them because China can not send 3 teams or individuals per event, only 2. This kind of dominence, with signs fo getting worse in my mind make it a good sport to be dropped.

In my mind, the list of possible per games sports is more interesting than the list of sports that that will remain, because sports like pelote basque or wushu are recognized, but have no right to be in the olympics because of the lack of worldwide participation.

Out of the recongized sports I would only think that

Boules

Karate

Golf

Rubgy

Squash would be able to compete along with Baseball, Softball and with ever of the 26 don't get taken up.

I would assume that London would use boules, golf and rugby as their 3 sports.

Golf and rugby, I agree, would seem to fit London to a T.

Boules? A bit froggy, eh what, old chap? But you'd think it would be cheap anyway.

Okay, here's a prediction _ I reckon that at Guatemala City we'll have the Rogge proposal passed and see an announcement that, wait for it .... Skateboarding! has been approved for inclusion in competition in 2012. The tea leaves are certainly pointing that way.

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Hmm, what is not clear from Rogge's comments is whether the 25 core sports will be seleted during the Guatemala Session or whether the Session will just agree on the principle. It seems to me that they will just agree on the principle since the IFs will want time to work on this.

I don't think that the process will be in place for London. London has 26 sports right now and the only one that could be added might be skateboard. I am not even convinced it will happen:

  1. skateboarders do not seem thrilled at the idea
  2. skateboard is a discipline of the Roller Blading Feeration that has not even been approached by the IOC yet and which is quite upset.

As for the sports that would have to go, I would say Modern Pentatlon is in danger (strangely, it was sold out during the Athens Games, couldn't get a ticket to it).

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I don't think that the process will be in place for London. London has 26 sports right now and the only one that could be added might be skateboard. I am not even convinced it will happen:

[*]skateboarders do not seem thrilled at the idea

[*]skateboard is a discipline of the Roller Blading Feeration that has not even been approached by the IOC yet and which is quite upset.

Hmmm. There have been so many hints in the past few weeks though _ I still wouldn't be surprised if it was a foregone conclusion just waiting to be rubber-stamped.

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Hmm, what is not clear from Rogge's comments is whether the 25 core sports will be seleted during the Guatemala Session or whether the Session will just agree on the principle. It seems to me that they will just agree on the principle since the IFs will want time to work on this.

I don't think that the process will be in place for London. London has 26 sports right now and the only one that could be added might be skateboard. I am not even convinced it will happen:

  1. skateboarders do not seem thrilled at the idea
  2. skateboard is a discipline of the Roller Blading Feeration that has not even been approached by the IOC yet and which is quite upset.

As for the sports that would have to go, I would say Modern Pentatlon is in danger (strangely, it was sold out during the Athens Games, couldn't get a ticket to it).

I think that skateboarding will ne nixed because its like table tennis, heavey preference to one nationality.

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I think that skateboarding will ne nixed because its like table tennis, heavey preference to one nationality.

Which would that be? As far as I can see, it's popular in nearly all western countries.

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Which would that be? As far as I can see, it's popular in nearly all western countries.

skateboarding, unlike snowboarding has very few well-known participants outside of the United States. The only reason the US is rubbish in downhill snowboarding is because that aspect of the sport was invented in Europe based on the skiing styles prefered in Europe. The parts of snowboarding that are prefered in the USA are heavily won by Americans, even with the interest in the sport outside of the US. Introducing another sport that would be heavily dominated by one country is not a good idea.

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Hmmm. There have been so many hints in the past few weeks though _ I still wouldn't be surprised if it was a foregone conclusion just waiting to be rubber-stamped.

Oh I have no doubt that the IOC, or at least its Executive Board, wants to include Skateboard in London 2012 programme.

The question is whether it will be approved by the session. Last time Rogge played with the Olympic Programme, it did backfire when no new sport was included after Baseball and Softball were excluded.

This is probably why there is move to make skateboarding a new discipline of.... cycling so that it won't be considered as addition of a new sport but of a new discipline (easier to do).

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Guatemala is going to have a packed agenda:

- 2014 vote

- vote on the creation of the Youth Olympic Games

- vote on the new olympic Programme concept with the 25 core sports

- the skateboarding for London 2012

- one third of the IOC membership standing for re-election

- election of 4 new IOC members

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Guatemala is going to have a packed agenda:

- 2014 vote

- vote on the creation of the Youth Olympic Games

- vote on the new olympic Programme concept with the 25 core sports

- the skateboarding for London 2012

- one third of the IOC membership standing for re-election

- election of 4 new IOC members

LOL _ at least they'll be earning their kep!

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Just one doubt:

Are recognized sports considered Olympic sports not included in the Olympic program? Or aren't they Olympic at all...?

There's two (or perhaps even three) types of "Olympic recognised" sports.

* Theres those that are included on the sports program _ athletics, swimming, cycling etc etc

* There's those that have been on the olympic program in the past but have beeen discontinued _ rugby, softball, baseball etc

* There's a whole range of sports that are classed as having "Olympic recognition" _ squash, etc (I think even chess), which have never appeared on the rosters, but could be possible inclusions

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I'd say boxing or badminton will be the "victims".

To be honest, I can't see either of those sports biting the dust. Rogge has been very supportive publicly of the amateur boxing authorities' attempts to improve things. And do we have to get rid of sports where Britain wins medals?

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There's two (or perhaps even three) types of "Olympic recognised" sports.

* Theres those that are included on the sports program _ athletics, swimming, cycling etc etc

* There's those that have been on the olympic program in the past but have beeen discontinued _ rugby, softball, baseball etc

* There's a whole range of sports that are classed as having "Olympic recognition" _ squash, etc (I think even chess), which have never appeared on the rosters, but could be possible inclusions

So all Olympic sports are recognised but not all recognised are Olympic until they've been added to the official program, right?

Then, could we witness the return of golf and polo to the London Olympics? :huh:

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So all Olympic sports are recognised but not all recognised are Olympic until they've been added to the official program, right?

Then, could we witness the return of golf and polo to the London Olympics? :huh:

That's right, and theoretically, yes, we could see golf and polo return.

I think practice it won't be so easy. The big question is going to be whether the additional 3 sports allowed for any games are to be chosen by the host city, or by the IOC, or whether they have to be included in the bid already etc.

The problem when softball and baseball were dropped was that when it came to voting in replacement spots (offhand, I think it was squash and karate that were put up, but maybe someone else can clarify that) they needed a two-thirds majority vote to gain approval _ difficult in any organisation and they sure didn't pass on the IOC members' votes. Rogge has since said that he would propose an easing of that requirement, to a simple majority, and would put it to the members at Guatemala City. This latest formula, I'm not sure if it will fit in with that. I sounds to me a little different and maybe it will be up to the local OCOG. I suppose we'll see soon.

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Perhaps the 3 additional sports will be suggested by a city during the bidding procedure and, after it is elected, the IOC and respective IFs come to an agreement with the now host city?

That sounds to me a likely formula.

The big question for me is whether this will apply or be in time for London. It could well be too late in the planning and preparation process for London to put in any new sports.

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That sounds to me a likely formula.

The big question for me is whether this will apply or be in time for London. It could well be too late in the planning and preparation process for London to put in any new sports.

I don't believe so, since the IOC already made the list of sports for the London OG official.

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