Nairobi, Kenya - One Olympic sport will be dropped next month when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) executives meet to discuss the make-up of the Summer Games from 2020.
The IOC Executive Board is scheduled to meet 12-13 February, UK-based sports business organisation, Sports Business, reported Thursday, saying a core of 25 summer sports will be put to a single vote at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in September.
This will mean that one sport will be cut from the original list of 26, with rugby sevens and golf said to be safe having only been introduced for Rio de Janeiro 2016.
“The IOC in February is expected to make a recommendation on the 25 core sports to be put up for a vote in Buenos Aires,” an IOC official said.
The IOC is said to be keen to keep the number of summer sports at a maximum of 28, with any decision from next month’s meeting unlikely to be overturned in September.
A number of current Olympic sports are said to be under threat, with modern pentathlon reported to be most in danger.
Speaking to SportBusiness International on Wednesday, Union of International Modern Pentathlon (UIPM) president Klaus Schormann criticised what he claimed to be inaccurate and unfair media reports of the sport’s Olympic status.
“We want to do our best for the Olympic Movement and make them proud to have us as a legacy of (Pierre de) Coubertin, but as an old sport, no – a sport with tradition,” he said.
The UIPM this month unveiled its ‘Pentathlon Stadium’ concept, which if approved would allow spectators to watch the sport’s five disciplines in five hours at Rio 2016 with one ticket from one seat in a single stadium or arena.
The initiative is one of a number of development schemes the UIPM has implemented of late and 2013 will also see the debut of the Mixed Relay World Cup series in five countries across four continents.
“Our vision is not concentrated on the present time, but what will happen in four, eight or 12 years’ time,” said Schormann. “Nobody can say we have not moved with the times. We have stated it and we are doing it.”
Coubertin introduced modern pentathlon to the Olympic Programme in 1912 and as the founding father of the IOC, the Olympic Movement is this year celebrating a special anniversary.
However, Schormann is aware the UIPM cannot rest on its laurels as the IOC considers the 2020 Games Programme. “We are all aware that the IOC has a meeting and it will make important decisions ahead of the IOC Session in Buenos Aires,” he added.
“But we have not been specifically focused on that. It’s not a reaction to what is happening now, but an ongoing process. I very much like history and we have to give a special gift to Coubertin. We are dedicating everything to celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Coubertin so that he will be proud that his legacy is being developed.”
A joint bid from baseball and softball, along with karate, roller sports, sports climbing, squash, wakeboard and wushu are the ‘new’ sports bidding for a place in the 2020 Games.
The sports made presentations to the IOC Olympic Programme Commission in December and will further outline their merits to the IOC Executive Board in May, before a final decision is made in September.