Adding sports for Tokyo 2020 to be decided in 2016

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Baseball, softball and other sports that may be hoping to join the Olympics in 2020 will learn their fate in August 2016, just before the Rio 2016 Olympics.

“While we were thinking originally the additional events timetable could be completed in July [2015], that is too ambitious,” International Olympic Committee vice president John Coates said, according to reports. “In the interest of transparency, that is too tight a timetable.”

The IOC’s reforms passed in December — Agenda 2020 — allow Olympic host cities to propose adding events for their Games.

Baseball and softball, dropped from the Olympic program after Beijing 2008, could rejoin in 2020, given the sports are popular in Japan.

Coates said criteria for proposed sports will be ready by the end of April, according to wire reports.

Agenda 2020 limits the Summer Olympics to approximately 10,500 athletes and 310 events. London 2012 had 10,568 athletes in 302 events; Rio 2016 will have 306 events.

“I can’t tell you whether one, two, three, four, whatever number of events will be recommended ultimately, because that’s going to be largely dependent on the composition of the events,” Coates said, according to Reuters. “If there are team events involved, there’s going to be more athletes involved. If there weren’t team events involved, there could be a combination of other sports. We don’t want to rule out any combination.”

On Tuesday, IOC president Thomas Bach said he hoped the IOC will finalize decisions regarding adding events for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Games before an IOC session in July.

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