Could track cycling benefit from rugby and golf's loss? - BikeBiz

Could track cycling benefit from rugby and golf's loss?

Yesterday, IOC members threw out two whole sports from the Olympic programme for London 2012 - softball and baseball - but, contrary to the wishes of IOC president Jacques Rogge, did not vote in one of the five applicant sports. Perhaps, just perhaps, this could mean the IOC might look favourably on any UCI request to reinstate the two track events the UCI decided to ditch in June to accomodate BMX in Beijing?
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With two less sports to cater for, London 2012 will have to spend £50m less.

The last time a sport was removed from the Games was polo in 1936.

The expected outcome yesterday was for two sports to be excluded and two to be included.

Jacques Rogge - a former member of the Belgian national rugby team - had lobbied for rugby sevens to be included but IOC members decided only karate and squash were worthy Olympic sports but even these didn't gain the two thirds majority required to gain entry to the lucrative Olympics.

The 26 sport federations left in the programme will eventually benefit from the redistribution of £8m in TV rights.

The UCI is the fifth richest sports federation out of the 26 sports still in the Olympic programme. Football's FIFA tops the list with a 2000-2003 turnover of $2.1bn. Second is the IAAF, the athletics federation, with $195m. The UCI had a turnover of $31m.

IOC members considered golf unworthy of Olympic status because pro golfers would likely prefer their PGA championships over any Olympic event, a parallel with pro road cyclists and the Olympics.

In June, the UCI excluded two key track events from the Beijing Games but with more room in the Olympic programme it's possible that the UCI could lobby for the inclusion of BMX without having to jettison the men's track kilo and the women's 500m track time trial.

Naturally, the IOC objection would be that the events to be excluded won't actually be ditched until after Beijing 2008. However, given the worldwide clamour for the reinstatement of the kilo and the women's 500m - the IOC and UIC were handed a petition of 10 679 names - there's at least a sliver of a hope that the UCI would lobby the IOC on the behalf of track cycling.

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