Attempts to introduce new sports for the
2012 London Olympics have failed - in fact the Olympic program
is minus two sports
Five candidates were proposed - golf, rugby 7s, karate, squash and roller sports to the 117th Session of the IOC in Singapore
The 116 members nominated karate and squash but both sports failed to achieve the 2/3s majority vote and were rejected
Earlier the session had dumped baseball and softball to make way for some new blood
At the conclusion of the vote the IOC President Jacques Rogge announced the Olympic program is now 26 sports
The President of the Australian Olympic Committee John Coates was critical of the process
It should not have started in the first place he said
All they have done is severely disrupt the development of baseball and softball
George Bush was getting US baseball into line over doping and softball has gone ahead in leaps and bounds since it became an Olympic sport
Im shocked and disappointed Coates said. It is very sad to lose two of our member sports
Australia has won medals in softball at the past three Olympics
Bronze in Atlanta (1996) bronze in Sydney (2000) and silver in Athens (2004)
The Australian baseball Team also won the Silver Medal at last years Athens games
Coates said the AOC and the Australian Sports Commission had focused heavily on developing both sports over the past ten years
He supported his 28 member Federations in the vote and felt they were all safe
Problems with doping in US baseball probably cost the sport dearly he said
Softball was a bigger shock especially with the push within the IOC to further increase womens participation in the Olympics"
In the later vote Coates supported rugby
Rugby was a the prime choice of the London hosts who expected to net 8 million pounds in gate receipts in two days of competition at Twickenham
But it wasnt to be as rugby failed to attract the necessary votes to finish in the top two
The decision to exclude softball certainly angered the female members of the IOC and there appeared to be a protest vote from the women when the two new sports, squash and karate, were nominated to the meeting
Golf polled very badly and was eliminated in the first round
The failure of the top players to commit to playing at the Olympics worked against them
LONDON 2012 will have only 26 sports instead
of 28 after softball and baseball were thrown out of the Olympics
by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today and no new
sports were chosen to replace them
The expulsion, decided by the IOC rank and file during a secret vote on all 28 sports that make up the Olympic programme, allowed two new sports to come in but the members opposed replacing them
The attempt to replace softball and baseball with squash and karate ended in controversy when the IOC rank and file firmly said 'NO'
Altogether five sports were vying for the two spots - golf, roller sports, rugby sevens, squash and karate
But although the IOC members decided that squash and karate would be the best two to be in the Olympics they refused to give them the two-thirds majority to make it possible
Softball federation president Don Porter was stunned by the decision
Three years ago at the Mexico City Session, IOC president Jacques Rogge attempted to have baseball, softball and modern pentathlon cut from the Olympics but the plan was firmly rejected by the IOC members
"It's payback for Mexico City. They wanted us out then. It has taken them three years and they got us," said Porter
"We thought that we had a lot of support
The members told us we were getting support, but obviously we weren't.
I don't want to say it's an anti-US thing, but they are two native American sports"
Aldo Notari, the Italian president of the international baseball federation, admitted the absence of the top players in the Olympics was to blame for the vote
"One is not happy when one is in this situation. The problem with baseball is the best players are not going to the Olympics Games
But baseball is still in Beijing and it is still necessary to work for the future in 2016"
The expulsion will cost the two sports millions of dollars
All Olympic sports share the television revenue generated by the Games
After the Athens Games softball and baseball received an estimated $US7 million ($9.47 million) each
ASOIF - the body representing the summer Games sports - had bitterly fought Rogge's plan to change the Olympic programme
"You don't change a winning team," said ASOIF president and IOC member Denis Oswald.
"Once you take one piece out to put another piece in, you don't know what the consequences will be"
But his plea was rejected by the IOC members
"Needless to say, these sports are very, very disappointed," said Rogge
"However, I have to emphasise the fact that they should not fear this purge
The fact is that they shall not be included in the programme of the 2012 Olympic Games, but it does not disqualify them forever as Olympic sports
I would like to invite the leaders of these sports that will not be included in the programme to make their very best efforts during the coming years so as to be able to convince the session that they deserve to come back to the Olympic Games in 2016
We shall support them in their efforts"
The last time a sport was removed from the Olympics was polo in 1936
Friday 8th July 2005
Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) president John Coates has spoken of his shock at the exclusion of softball and baseball from the 2012 Games, and warned that that the decision could cost Australia medals
Coates said Australia's three International Olympic Committee (IOC) members would now concentrate on having rugby sevens included in the 2012 program
Australia won Silver Medals in both baseball and softball at last year's Athens Games
"I'm shocked and disappointed" Coates said in a statement
"It is very sad to lose two of our member sports"
Softball and baseball were dumped from the Olympics to make way for two new sports after a secret vote by the IOC rank-and-file in Singapore
Coates said he had believed the sports would survive the vote
"Problems with doping in US baseball probably cost the sport dearly" he said
"Softball was a bigger shock, especially with the push within the IOC to further increase women's participation in the Olympics"
He said Australia's strength in rugby sevens, golf and squash could make up any medal deficit arising from softball and baseball being dumped
Baseball and softball's ejection opens the door for two of golf, squash, karate, rugby sevens and roller sports to be added
Baseball Australia's chief executive Don Knapp slammed the decision to dump his sport and questioned the merits of any of the replacement sports
"I would like to see it be a sport that is recognised as a legitimate sport" he said
"Rugby sevens is an adapted sport, inline skating, I don't know what it is
Golf's a great sport, should have been in the Olympics years ago
But I just want to make sure it is a sport and not some 'you beaut' idea"
The Australian Softball Federation (ASF) said it was saddened by the decision but expressed hope it could regain a spot at the 2016 Games
"It's a sad day for softball following the decision by the International Olympic Committee that softball and baseball would not be a part of the Olympic program for the 2012 Games in London" ASF said in a statement
The ASF took heart from IOC president Jacques Rogge's remarks when announcing the decision, that the exclusion related only to the 2012 Games and did not mean the sports were out of the Olympics forever
"Despite the sad news, softball could still be considered for the 2016 Games" it said