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Press release August 12, 2009 Sport


ATLANTA – August 12, 2009 – Will it be golf and rugby? Baseball and softball? Or some other pairing from among the seven 2016 sport hopefuls? Months of speculation will end Thursday when the IOC executive board decides which sports will have a chance to join the Olympic program.

Around the Rings ( will be on the scene in Berlin when the decision is made which sports will make it to the final ballot at the 121st IOC Session in Copenhagen this October. Baseball, golf, karate, roller sports, rugby, softball and squash are the sports vying for two spots on the Olympic program.

“This is the most important – and eagerly awaited – decision about the Olympic sport program the IOC has undertaken in four years,” says ATR editor Ed Hula. “Whichever sports make it to the shortlist, the decision could determine whether the Olympic program remains at 26 sports or returns to its previous level of 28 sports.”

ATR Editor Ed Hula, along with European Editor Mark Bisson and Americas correspondent Karen Rosen, will report immediately on the vote. Results can be found at

Baseball and softball were voted off the program at the 117th IOC session in Singapore in 2005.

Recent speculation says golf and rugby are favored. The IOC’s rule-making body will shortlist two finalists during the 9am to 1pm executive board session at the Intercontinental Hotel in Berlin on Thursday. Those sports will then be put forward by the 15-member EB to a vote by members of the IOC on October 9.

The EB also will decide the voting procedure based on the characteristics of the two sports it selects. There will either be two separate votes for the individual sports, or a bloc vote for both of them.

If the two finalists are rejected by IOC members in Copenhagen, the five sports rejected this week in Berlin will not have the chance to be reconsidered for the 2016 program in another vote.

To schedule an interview with Ed Hula, contact Sheila Scott Hula at [email protected] or call +1 404-874-1603, ext. 102.

For a two-week trial of Around the Rings, email [email protected].

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About Around the Rings

For nearly 20 years, has been the only publication devoted to providing original, on-the-scene reporting about the $5 billion dollar business of the Olympic Movement. Based in Atlanta, Ga., with a worldwide team of correspondents, Around the Rings provides thorough international sport business news coverage with daily email blasts, a weekly newsletter and special edition magazines.