Baseball, Softball Dropped From the 2012 Olympics

By Stephen Wilson
Associated Press
Friday, July 8, 2005

SINGAPORE, July 8 -- Baseball and softball were dropped Friday from the Olympics for the 2012 Summer Games in London.

Each of the 28 existing sports was put to a secret vote by the International Olympic Committee, and baseball and softball failed to receive a majority required to stay on the program. The other 26 sports were retained.

"I think they've made a big, big mistake," said Tommy Lasorda, the former Los Angeles Dodgers manager who managed the 2000 U.S. team to the gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Games. "Baseball is played by all countries now and softball, too. I think that's really going to hurt the Olympics. I don't want to knock the other sports, but I think this is a big mistake. I am very disappointed."

The IOC will consider replacing them with two sports from a waiting list of five: golf, rugby, squash, karate and roller sports. That decision will be made Saturday.

Baseball and softball are the first sports cut from the Olympics since water polo in 1936.

Baseball has been vulnerable because it doesn't bring top major league players to the Olympics. Softball has been in danger because of a perceived lack of global appeal and participation.

"Needless to say, these sports are very, very disappointed," IOC President Jacques Rogge said. "However, I have to emphasize the fact that they should not fear this purge. The fact is that they shall not be included in the program of the 2012 Olympic Games, but it does not disqualify them forever as Olympic sports."

© 2005 The Washington Post Company