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IOC muddies waters on sports selection process

June 15, 2009 | 12:37 pm

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Rarely are things perfectly clear where the International Olympic Committee is concerned.

So it is with the process to decide which new sports, if any, will be added to the program for the 2016 Summer Games.

As I discussed in an earlier blog posting today, seven sports have applied for admission. The IOC executive board is to decide Aug. 13 which two it will recommend to the IOC members, who are to vote on them Oct. 9. They can accept one, two or none.

Seems pretty simple, right?

Not exactly.

It remains to be decided whether the members will vote for the two recommended sports individually or as a combined entry.

And should the IOC members reject either -- or both -- they could decide to reconsider one or more of the five that their executive board did not recommend.

And they could also decide to let one of those sports make its case to the voters, as each tried to do to the IOC executive board Monday.

And, according to IOC Director General Urs Lacotte, it is not even certain the executive board will immediately announce which sports they have chosen Aug. 13.

Is there any wonder the self-appointed, self-governing, answerable-to-no-one IOC still draws mainly skepticism when it talks about transparency?                                        

-- Philip Hersh

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