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IOC leaders are meeting to "decide which sport to drop from the Olympic program and how to deal with the fallout from the Lance Armstrong doping scandal," according to Stephen Wilson of the AP. At a two-day IOC exec board meeting beginning Tuesday, the IOC will also "review preparations" for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, as well as "select a short list of finalists" for the 2018 Youth Olympics. The report "analyzes more than three dozen criteria," including TV ratings, ticket sales, anti-doping policy and global participation and popularity. With "no official rankings or recommendations contained in the report," the final decision by the 15-member exec board will "likely be influenced by political, emotional and sentimental factors." Among the sports "considered the most vulnerable" is modern pentathlon and taekwondo, the Korean martial art that has been in the Olympics since '00 (AP, 2/11).
POSSIBLE CUTS: The PA's Mark Staniforth reported table tennis "could be another candidate due to the continued dominance of the sport by the Chinese," who have won 24 of 28 available Gold Medals since the sport was first introduced to the Olympics in '88. Badminton is "set to escape censure after taking swift action against those implicated in the match-fixing affair which blighted" its London 2012 program. Wrestling has "also been mentioned as a possible casualty" (PA, 2/11).
The National Olympic Committee of Cambodia and the country's first privately-owned indoor sports facility, Beeline Arena, formalized a two-year Memorandum of Understanding Friday. The MoU is renewable and subject to an annual review. Sports federations will be allowed "easy, affordable access" to the int'l-standard 2,000-seat facility (PHNOM PENH POST, 2/11). ... TaylorMade-adidas golf spokesperson Thomas Kroll said that the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will "deliver a major boost" for the golf equipment market (BANGKOK POST, 2/11).