BERLIN, March 31 (Reuters) - A number of new events are likely to win a spot in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics when the International Olympic Committee’s powerful executive board meets in London next week.
Women’s ski jumping, which had campaigned but failed to win a place in last year’s Vancouver Games, is one of seven events requesting inclusion at the event in Russia’s Black Sea resort.
The board will meet on April 5-6 and IOC President Jacques Rogge has been instructed to take a final decision after postponing a ruling late last year to monitor the respective world championships during the 2010/11 winter season.
“The new events for Sochi are on the executive board agenda now,” an IOC official told Reuters.
The inclusion of new events of existing Olympic sports does not require a ratification by the IOC session as is the case with new sports and the board, which has handed the final say to Rogge, has already said it was “looking favourably at the inclusion.”
Apart from women’s ski jumping, the other events up for consideration are ski halfpipe (men and women), ski slopestyle (men and women), snowboard slopestyle (men and women), biathlon mixed team relay, figure skating team event and luge team relay.
The IOC will also be discussing its London 2012 Games guidelines for disorders of sexual development to avoid any embarrassing incidents similar to the Caster Semenya case that rocked the 2009 world athletics championships.
The South African runner, who won the women’s 800m world title in Berlin, had to put her career on hold for almost a year after the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) ordered gender verification tests.
Semenya was eventually cleared to return but the affair, which sparked a whirlwind of publicity, and its handling by the IAAF were sharply criticised.
The IOC official said it was still unclear whether the guidelines would be released during the meeting or at a later date.
The IOC will also be checking preparations for Sochi with an inspection visit in London for the 2012 Olympic preparations ongoing this week.
It will also be reviewing a number of issues related to national Olympic committees, with ongoing bans for Kuwait and Ghana and the threat of sanctions hanging over India with what the IOC says is a threat to the autonomy of the country’s NOC.
Writing by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Tom Pilcher. To query or comment on this story: firstname.lastname@example.org