(ATR) The federations representing the five sports that the IOC Executive Board is recommending be added for Tokyo 2020 share the same sentiment.
While they are happy with the latest decision, they realize there is still one more major hurdle to clear.
The IOC board voted unanimously on June 1 that all five sports – karate, skateboarding, sports climbing, surfing and baseball/softball — would be presented as a package deal for a final vote at the IOC in August in Rio de Janeiro.
The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) may have summed it up best with this statement: "We are very pleased about this new step and look forward to the next holds of our unbelievable climb.”
International Surfing Association (ISA) president, Fernando Aguerre said "we are thrilled that we are now one step closer to realizing our Olympic dream."
The World Karate Federation (WKF) called it “a great step” while the International Skateboarding Federation (ISF) president Gary Ream used the phrase “important milestone.”
While avoiding the use of the words "step" or "milestone", the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) president Riccardo Fraccari was careful to not take anything for granted.
"Olympic Baseball and Softball in Japan would be the biggest and most exciting international competition in the history of our sport, and would help the Olympic Games touch the entire host nation and worldwide community." he said in a statement.
ICF Cracks Down on Doping
The International Canoe Federation says it “will take swift and decisive action” on the heels of a number of positive doping tests involving athletes who have qualified for the Rio Olympics.
The ICF says it has provisionally suspended canoe sprint athletes from Romania, Belarus and Kazakhstan following a series of out-of-competition tests.
The federation says a majority of the positive tests are tied to meldonium, the drug which the World Anti-Doping Agency declared illegal effective January 1, 2016.
ICF Secretary General, Simon Toulson said in a statement “We have been made aware of the positive tests and are currently working with each of the National Anti-Doping Agencies to clarify the results.
“We are saddened that this has become an issue in our sport and are working swiftly to ensure the right actions to address the present situation are taken.
The ICF says it will work with the relevant authorities and follow the process outlined in WADA’s rules, noting that
WADA’s additional research on Meldonium will be released in mid-June.
The federation also says that all athletes proven to have violated the doping regulations will face a lengthy ban and, where applicable, Olympic qualification places will be reallocated.
UCI Announces Quotas for Rio Olympic Cycling Events
The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced the list of the 38 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) qualified for the women’s road cycling events at the upcoming Olympic Games, and the quotas of athletes allocated to each of them.
A total of 67 places have been awarded for the road races and 25 for the time trials. Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States lead the way with a total of six places each, four for the road races and two for the time trials.
But the numbers could change between now and the Summer Games.
The NOCs have until June 15 to confirm that they will use the places they’ve earned. After that date, the UCI will reallocate the unused places.
The Olympic road cycling competitions will be held on Aug. 6-7 in Fort Copacabana (road races) and on August 10 in Pontal-Barra (time trials).
Written by Gerard Farek
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