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Olympic sports bodies want talks with IOC on threats from adding cricket and others to 2028 program

Olympicsportsbodieswant urgent talks with the IOC about the risk of cuts in their revenue shares and medal events at the 2028 Los Angeles Games because cricket and other newcomers were added to the program.

The InternationalOlympicCommittee last month approved cricket, baseball/softball, flag football, lacrosse and squash for 2028. It kept boxing, modern pentathlon and weightlifting — threesportswhose status had been in doubt.

The umbrella group of current Summer Gamessports, known by the acronym ASOIF, said Monday that the decision to increase to a record 36sports“has raised several questions” among its members, who collectively shared USD 540 million of IOC-allocated money at each of the past twoOlympics.

MostOlympicsportsgot between USD 13 million and USD 17.3 million from the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Games in 2021. For some, that was about half their total income over four years.

Adding four teamsportsin 2028 is also set to break the IOC’s preferred limit of 10,500 athletes at a Summer Games and likely will put pressure on the coreOlympicsportsto cut their quotas of athletes or even medal events. The IOC has set a target of early 2025 to confirm final quotas.

ASOIF’s ruling council agreed Monday “to raise these urgent matters with the IOC leadership” after meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The council includes the presidents of World Athletics, the International Gymnastics Federation and World Aquatics — the top-tierOlympicsports.

Track and field got USD 38.5 million after the Tokyo Games, while gymnastics and swimming each got about USD 31.4 million of the IOC’s total revenue from broadcasters and sponsors of USD 7.6 billion from 2017-21. Adding cricket is expected to raise the IOC’s broadcast deal in India by at least USD 100 million.

Key issues forOlympicsportsas the games keep expanding are “revenue share, athlete quotas,Olympicqualification systems and games optimization,” ASOIF president Francesco Ricci Bitti said. Optimization is the currentOlympicbuzzword for trimming costs and services to help organizers control spending.

“These are the issues that hugely impact (international federation) operations and have far-reaching effects on the entireOlympicMovement,” Ricci Bitti said in a statement.

The IOC did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the ASOIF request. TheOlympicbodyis set to confirm revenue-sharing funds from the 2024 ParisOlympicsafter the event.

With Russia planning to stage a World Friendship Games weeks after the closing ceremony in Paris, ASOIF cautioned its members Monday about their involvement in a potential rival to theOlympics. Moscow and Yekaterinburg are set to host the games in September.

The Russian multi-sportevent “is not conducive to dialogue within thesportsworld during these challenging times,” ASOIF said.

The RussianOlympicCommittee remains suspended by the IOC, but individuals can still be invited by somesportsto compete as neutral athletes in international events if they don’t publicly support the war in Ukraine and don’t have ties to the military or state security agencies.

(Published 13 November 2023, 14:06 IST)

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