GENEVA (AP) — Olympic sports bodies want urgent talks with the IOC about the risk of cuts to their revenue shares and medal competition at the 2028 Los Angeles Games because cricket and other newcomers were added to the program.
The International Olympic Committee last month approved cricket, baseball/softball, flag football, lacrosse and squash for 2028 and retained boxing, modern pentathlon and weightlifting – three sports whose status was in doubt.
The umbrella group of current sports of the Summer Games, known by the acronym ASOIF, said Monday the decision to expand to a record 36 sports “raised several questions” among its members, who collectively shared $540 million in IOC-allocated money at each of the past two Olympics.
The addition of four team sports in 2028 is also expected to breach the IOC’s desired limit of 10,500 athletes at the Summer Games and is likely to pressure key Olympic sports to reduce their athlete quotas or even medal competitions. The IOC has set a target of early 2025 to confirm the final quotas.
ASOIF’s governing council agreed on Monday to “raise these urgent issues with IOC leadership” after meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The council includes the presidents of World Athletics, the International Gymnastics Federation and World Aquatics — the top Olympic sports.
Athletics received $38.5 million after the Tokyo Games, while gymnastics and swimming received about $31.4 million of the IOC’s total revenue from broadcasters and sponsors. $7.6 billion from 2017-21. The addition of cricket is expected to increase the IOC’s broadcasting deal in India by at least $100 million.
Key issues for Olympic sports as the Games continue to expand are “revenue share, athlete quotas, Olympic qualification systems and optimization of the Games,” said ASOIF president Francesco Ricci Bitti. Optimization is the current Olympic watchword for reducing costs and services so that organizers can control spending.
“These are issues that greatly affect (international federations) operations and have far-reaching effects on the entire Olympic movement,” Ricci Bitti said in a statement.
The IOC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the ASOIF request. The Olympic body needs to confirm the means to share the revenue from the Paris 2024 Olympic Games after the event.
With Russia planning to host the World Friendship Games a few weeks after the closing ceremony in Paris, ASOIF on Monday backed its members over their participation in a potential Olympic rival. Moscow and Yekaterinburg are scheduled to host the games in September.
The Russian multi-sport event “is not conducive to dialogue within the world of sport in these challenging times”, ASOIF said.
Tea The Russian Olympic Committee remains suspended by the IOC but some sports may still invite individuals to compete as neutral athletes in international events if they do not publicly support the war in Ukraine and have no ties to the military or state security agencies.
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