'Best athletes' must attend Olympic events, says IOC member - BikeBiz

'Best athletes' must attend Olympic events, says IOC member

IOC members have remained in Singapore following the announcement of London as the venue for the 2012 Olympic Games. At a session earlier today, baseball and softball were excluded from the 2012 Olympics. The other 26 of the 28 Olympic sports were voted in safely, including cycling. Baseball was excluded because the Olympics doesn't always attract the world's best players. However, an IOC member has warned that sports that do not field the best athletes also risk exclusion. The road cycling events at the Olympics are rarely graced with every top pro of the day.
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For track cyclists, the Olympic Games is the number one objective.

However, in June the Union Cycliste Internationale decided to drop the men's track kilo and the women's track 500m time trial from the Beijing Olympics, a decision that will likely kill the two disciplines. The kilo is the blue riband event of track cycling and has been an Olympic event since the start of the modern Games in 1896.

Excluding the kilo is like the international athletic's association excluding the 100m sprint. This topic was discussed earlier in the week by leaders at the G8 summit and further pressure is likely to be applied to the UCI, urging the governing body to re-run its survey of 24 national cycle federations, a survey that many say was "rigged" by the UCI.

The UCI is accused of pre-selecting track events for exclusion, a fact not mentioned on the survey supplied to federations.

Today baseball and softball were voted out of the programme of the 2012 Olympic Games after failing to garner more than half of the votes of the 100+ IOC members at the 117th IOC Session in Singapore.

This leaves room for two new sports. The applicants are golf, rugby, karate, squash and roller sports. IOC members will decide later today whether any of these sports will be allowed into the club of 28.

Thomas Bach, the IOC's German member, told the Xinhua press agency of China, that baseball was excluded for a good reason:

"The international baseball federation could not ensure the best baseball players to participate in the Games, and the [IOC] members felt the target of the Olympic Games is to include the best athletes in the Games," said Bach.

"[If] the best players of baseball are not interested in the Games, then why should we keep it on the programme?"

The Olympic Charter allows for a four yearly review of the sports included in the Games. Key issues include global participation, spectator attendance, anti-doping policies, and whether the sport brings the world's top athletes to the games.

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