Rogge: Baseball still has work to do before Olympic return

22 Sep 2020 admin

first_img“I have just had a meeting with the president of the Japanese Baseball Federation (Masatake) Matsuda and also with the president of the Japanese Professional League. I said to the two gentlemen that baseball can come back if they (the MLB) would address some issues,” Rogge said at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo.“The first issue is to make sure that the best players participate in the Games and that we will have the stars of the MLB association.“The second issue that we want to see resolved is the attitude of the major leagues toward doping.”Rogge has been encouraged by MLB’s steps in tackling the problem of drug use, but still thinks there is work to do before the sport can be brought back into the Olympics.Baseball, which was added in 1992, was thrown out of the Olympics last year along with softball after a vote among IOC members. The decision was criticized in the sport’s founding country America, with the European-heavy influence of the IOC coming under scrutiny.Baseball will be contested at the 2008 Beijing Games but will not be at the 2012 Games in London.The sport can reapply for inclusion in the 2016 Games, for which Tokyo is a candidate city.“We see improvements and we are glad to see improvements in the fight against doping.“I remind you that it was U.S. President George W. Bush in his state of the union address who said that professional sport in the U.S. had to be clean of anabolic steroid use.“But there is still a big gap — and I hope it can be filled — but there is still a big gap between the rules of MLB and the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency)laws.“For the use of anabolic steroids, under WADA rules a player would be banned for two years. This is not the case in major leagues where they banned for a number of matches. There is still a gap to bridged in this respect but we will welcome the progress and the change in attitude.”In a wide-ranging talk during his fourth visit to Japan since becoming president in 2001, Rogge also discussed the IOC’s attempts to unify the teams of North Korea and South Korea in time for the 2008 Beijing Games and said last week’s nuclear test in North Korea may have jeopardized plans.“I had very good meeting with the Olympic Committees of North Korea and South Korea just a couple of weeks ago,” Rogge said.“We were really progressing very well, There were still some issues to be solved, but we were heading in the right direction.“Today, I must say we are waiting for the evolution of the international situation because, of course, the nuclear test is changing the whole situation.“I believe there is still a strong will at the level of the sports movement for the countries to have a joint team. I believe the national Olympic committees of both countries wishes to do that.“We are not giving up the idea. We still hope dearly that it will be possible but I think some time and reflection is needed to see what the evolution (of the political situation) brings about. But of course, we still have contact with both national organizations.The IOC unified the East German and West German teams in the 1960s. The North Korea and South Korea teams marched together at the opening ceremonies of the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, but competed as separate teams.The two countries disagreed on how to combine their squads in recent talks, with South Korea wanting athletes to be selected based on performance, while its neighbor wanted equal representation.Meanwhile, Rogge paid tribute to Japan’s past success at hosting Olympic and other large-scale sporting events and said this could only be a benefit for Tokyo in its bid to host the 2016 Games.“Japan has proven to be able to organize very big events with a great success. I refer to the FIFA World Cup organized jointly with South Korea. That was a huge success and it is definitely something to Japan’s credit.“I should not forget of course the great success of the Nagano Winter Games in 1998.“But of course the competition will be difficult. It is never easy to win the rights to organize the Olympic Games. There is no doubt, though, that Japan has everything to have a good candidature.“But the other candidates will have the same strengths so therefore it is going to be a very interesting contest.”In August, the JOC chose Tokyo ahead of Fukuoka as Japan’s candidate city for the 2016 Games.The venue for the Games will be decided in October 2009, with Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Delhi among the cities vying to become host.Japan hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and the 1972 Winter Games in Sapporo before Nagano. GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5center_img IOC President Jacques Rogge said Thursday the Olympics has not closed the door on baseball for good, but that the major leagues need to take an even tougher stance on doping and make their star players available for selection if the sport has any chance of being welcomed back to the fold.IOC President Jacques Rogge speaks at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo on Thursday. In a wide-ranging discussion Rogge talked about the possibility of baseball being let back into the Olympics, the IOC’s plan to unify the North Korea and South Korea teams and Tokyo’s 2016 Olympic bid. AP PHOTOlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *