Baseball, softball dropped from London Games

At a session in Mexico City in 2002, IOC President Jacques Rogge proposed that baseball, softball and modern pentathlon be dropped.-

BASEBALL and softball will not feature in the 2012 London Olympics after they were wiped from the programme in a controversial vote.

The two sports failed to win a majority of votes in a ballot of members at a meeting of the International Olympic Committee in Singapore and became the first sports to be axed from the Olympics since polo in 1936.

The 26 other sports from the Athens 2004 programme did win a majority of votes and will remain on the programme in London.

In 2002 the IOC decided to cap the numbers of sports at an Olympic Games at 28, the number of events at 301 and the number of athletes at 10,500.

At that same session in Mexico City IOC President Jacques Rogge proposed that baseball, softball and modern pentathlon be dropped, and golf and rugby union added.

However IOC members resisted and no vote was taken.

``This is payback for Mexico City,'' a visibly shocked softball federation chief Don Porter said. ``They wanted us out in 2002. It has taken them three years but they have got us.

``We didn't expect this at all. The discussions we have had all week led us to believe we were safe to assume the programme would remain unchanged for 2012.''

Rogge urged the two sports not to lose heart. ``Needless to say, these sports will be disappointed,'' he said. ``But this does not disqualify them for ever.

``Olympic sports they are in Beijing, and Olympic sports they will remain. As such they will remain eligible for the Olympic programme after 2012.''

The sports programme for 2016 will be voted on after the 2008 Beijing Games.

Once again all sports will be put to a vote one-by-one.