The report is the outcome of a two-year process, which began at the IOC Session in Mexico City in 2002. At this Session, the IOC decided to systematically review the composition of the sports programme after each edition of the Olympic Games to ensure that its composition continues to be relevant and meet the expectations of future sporting generations. After that, the Olympic Programme Commission, in collaboration with the International Federations, defined 33 criteria to be used as the basis of the evaluation questionnaire.
The questionnaire was then submitted to the 28 Summer Olympic International Federations. In order to widen the analysis to other sports that could potentially add to the quality and popularity of the programme, the IOC decided to study further five Recognized Federations, namely the International Roller Sports Federation, the World Squash Federation, the International Golf Federation, the World Karate Federation, and the International Rugby Board. These five Recognized Federations were also requested to complete the evaluation questionnaire before 15 November 2004.
The Olympic Programme Commission reviewed the questionnaires, and a first draft of the report was prepared. Each federation received the analysis of its sport and was able to comment, amend or provide additional information. The final report does not contain recommendations concerning the admission or non-admission of any of the sports currently on the Olympic programme, but simply outlines the facts.
The report is being sent to the IOC members for study ahead of the vote, which will take place during the 117th IOC Session next month in Singapore. Sailing originally appeared in the Olympic Games back in the second Games of the modern era in Paris 1900. After skipping the St. Louis 1904 Olympic Games, sailing was back on the Olympic programme in London 1908 and has been a part of all the Olympic Games since then.
Any decision regarding Olympic sports is the responsibility of the IOC Session; any decision regarding disciplines and events is the responsibility of the Executive Board. In order to be considered for the Olympic programme, a sport must be recognized as an Olympic sport. The list of Olympic sports contains actually 28 sports;
According to Rule 48.1 of the Olympic Charter, the minimum number of Olympic sports included in the Olympic programme is 15. The maximum number is 28. It is not obligatory that there be 28 sports on the Olympic programme.
In Athens, all 28 Olympic sports were part of the Olympic programme. In order for an Olympic sport to be in the Olympic programme, a simple majority of votes is needed.
In order to become an Olympic sport, a 2/3 majority is needed as this constitutes a modification of a rule of the Olympic Charter. Rule 46 clearly defines which are the Olympic sports and includes the list of these sports.
A sport that is not chosen to be part in the Olympic programme remains an Olympic sport (i.e. on the Rule 46 list) and is eligible for possible future inclusion in the Olympic programme upon a simple majority.
On 8 July 2005, the Executive Board will not make any recommendations on the admission or non-admission of any of the 28 sports.
The IOC members will vote by secret ballot on each of the 28 sports that were part of the Olympic programme in Athens. The results of the vote will only be announced at the end of the proceedings.
If any sport is not admitted to be part of the Olympic programme because it does not obtain a majority (more that 50% of the votes), this sport will remain an Olympic sport: it will remain on the Rule 46 list but will not be on the programme for the 2012 Games;
If any sport is not admitted to the programme of the 2012 Games and therefore the total limit of 28 sports on the programme has not been reached, there is a possibility of another sport being put on the programme. In this instance, the Executive Board will meet and determine which applicant sport(s) may be proposed to the Session for admission;
The IOC members will then vote by secret ballot on the proposal of the Executive Board. As previously stated, in order to become an Olympic sport, a 2/3 majority is needed; in order for an Olympic sport to be included in the sports programme, a simple majority is needed.