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  • Softball Requests Olympics Sport Vote


    Softball will make a new pitch to stay on the Olympics program. 
    (ATR) In a change of heart, the International Softball Federation has requested the results of the IOC vote on July 8 that knocked women's softball out of the 2012 Olympics. ISF President Don Porter tells Around the Rings the results could come this week.

    Porter had asked IOC President Jacques Rogge for the results a couple of weeks ago, but when Rogge agreed to furnish the numbers, Porter declined.

    "We've re-thought it," Porter says, who has now put in a new request to the IOC which he hopes is answered this week.

    "We have to get busy and start working," says Porter about efforts to restore the sport to the Olympics program. He says knowing how close softball came to keeping its spot on the program will be needed to plot strategy.

    Softball and baseball were cut from the Olympic program at the July IOC Session in Singapore, the only two of the 28 sports that failed to receive 51% of the votes. Under rules of the vote, the numerical results were to remain a secret, but apparently in the interest of salvaging softball, the rule will be bent.

    The result of the softball vote will be provided to both the federation and all IOC members. There's no word yet from Lausanne as to the timing of the release of the numbers.

    Meanwhile, U.S. Olympic Committee President Peter Ueberroth is reported by the New York Times to be pushing the IOC to either overturn or re-consider the July 8 vote.

    Ueberroth tells the paper that IOC members have told him they were confused about the vote and that some believed that softball was an extension of baseball. Porter says he Ueberroth's support is welcomed.

    In the next week he says federation leaders will meet to plan their approach. Porter says he believes the strategy should have a unified front that combines the efforts of the federation, supporters such as the USOC as well as grass roots petition campaign
    International Softball Federation President Don Porter travels the world to promote the sport. Here he is with Chen Shui-bian, President of Chinese Taipei. 
    s from young athletes.

    Porter says the ISF is planning to bring a delegation to IOC headquarters in late September or early October for a meeting with the IOC President. Coming just weeks before the next meeting of the IOC Executive Board, the meeting with Rogge could persuade him to ask the EB to provide what would be extra-legal relief to softball.

    Rogge has said publicly that the July 8 vote was final, taking the position that "the IOC has chosen quality over quantity" in its decision to cut softball and baseball and not add any new sports in their place.

    The Olympic Charter dictates that changes to the sports program must be taken seven years before an Olympics. That would seem to rule out any move to put softball back in for 2012, unless the EB can find a way to bend the rules.

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