July 3, 2005

Sports vote results to remain secret, IOC says

By Ossian Shine

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Detailed results of this week's voteto decide which sports will be kicked off the program for the2012 Olympics will remain secret, the International OlympicCommittee (IOC) said on Sunday.

Each of the 28 sports contested at the 2004 Athens Gameswill be put to a vote in Singapore on Friday and any sportfailing to win a majority of votes will be dropped for the 2012Games.

Exact results of the electronic vote will not be divulged,IOC director Giselle Davies said. Sports will learn only ifthey are in or out.

"No details will be given out, nothing at all," she said."This was a proposal by the sports federations themselves...toavoid any ranking of sports."

The call for secrecy is designed to avoid any embarrassmentfor sports which score poorly or only just remain in the Games.

If any of the 28 sports is dropped, the IOC's executiveboard will select one or more sports from the five on thewaiting list and members will then be asked to vote on itsinclusion.

The Association of Summer Olympic International Federations(ASOIF), which represents all 28 sports currently in theOlympics, is lobbying for the existing program to bemaintained.

ASOIF met behind closed doors in Geneva last month andagreed to call on IOC members to keep the existing program,which it described as "attractive and well-balanced."

The last sport to be removed from the Olympic Games waspolo in 1936.

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

At that same session in Mexico City, IOC president JacquesRogge proposed that baseball, softball and modern pentathlon bedropped, and golf and rugby added.

However IOC members resisted and no vote was taken.