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Two sports axed from London Olympics

By Ossian Shine 08/07/2005 09:43:59 PM Comments (0)

London will stage a reduced Olympic Games in 2012 after baseball and softball were wiped from the programme in a controversial vote.

London's showpiece will now feature 26 sports rather than 28 after International Olympic Committee (IOC) members rejected proposals to replace the axed sports with two from rugby sevens, golf, squash, karate and roller sports.

Baseball and softball failed to win a majority of votes in a ballot of members at the IOC Session at the Raffles complex and became the first sports to be cut from the Games since polo in 1936.

In a farcical display of bureaucracy, IOC members went through seven rounds of voting to decide which two of the five would-be Olympic sports should be put up for a vote to give them Olympic status.

Having selected squash and karate, the members then overwhelmingly rejected their bids to join the Olympic programme.

The last Olympics to be staged with just 26 sports was Atlanta in 1996.

Although London will have two less sports than Beijing in 2008, it is expected the IOC will tweak the programme of events and boost numbers among the events so the Games will be no smaller than Beijing's.

"It's entirely a matter for the IOC. We're delighted to deliver a Games with 26 sports. We're happy with the decision," London 2012 communications director Mike Lee said.

"There will be some savings through not having temporary venues in Regents Park but it is not a major consideration.

"We will deliver the Games the IOC want."

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