Maybe MLB will change mind about Olympics

July 21st, 2008

If it will help restore baseball to the Olympic calendar, Major League Baseball is ready to consider releasing major league players.

Baseball and softball will be played at the Beijing Olympics next month but the International Olympic Committee has voted to remove both sports from the Olympic calendar from 2012 onwards.

Among the reasons for the decision has been MLB’s consistent refusal to alter its calendar in order to create a window for major league players to compete.

However, MLB vice-president Bob Watson, who also serves as the general manager of the American national team, revealed as part of the American squad announcement on Wednesday that talks are ongoing between MLB, the IOC and International Baseball Federation.

‘I believe they are trying to work up something, you have a few years to get a plan. There are a lot of moving parts but don’t rule it out,’ Watson said in a conference call.

MLB is still not ready to consider shutting its season down for an extended period, but is studying an idea to schedule an extended All-Star break that would allow a short Olympic tournament to be scheduled.

So if MLB really decide to open, with more strictly drug testing is already under way, the two critical point that IOC wants, there is very good chance that Olympic Baseball will back to 2016, and hope it will come true.

Baseball needed changes

October 19th, 2006

Participation of MLB players and toughen penalties for doping is the two main issue need to be addressed if Baseball wants to be reinstated, according to the IOC president Jacques Rogge.

IOC president Jacques Rogge says baseball still has work to do before it can be reinstated at the Olympics.

Baseball and softball were dropped from the Olympics after the 2008 Beijing Games in an IOC vote last year. Baseball has been an Olympic sport since 1992, but will not be part of the 2012 London Games.

“Baseball could come back if they address some issues, of which the first one is to make sure that the best players can participate in the Games and that we will have the stars of Major League Baseball,” Rogge said Thursday at a news conference.

Major League Baseball doesn’t allow players on 40-man major league rosters to go to the Olympics. The Americans didn’t even qualify for the Athens Games, eliminated with a 2-1 loss to Mexico in a qualifier.

The earliest baseball can win reinstatement is 2009, when the IOC considers the sports program for the 2016 Games.

“The second issue we want to see resolved is the attitude of MLB toward doping,” Rogge added. “We see progress there and we’re glad to see progress in the fight against doping.”

MLB players and owners agreed to toughen penalties for doping to a 50-game suspension for a first failed test, up from a 10-game suspension.

Rogge said it’s a step in the right direction but doesn’t go far enough.

“There is still a big gap between the rules of the MLBPA and the WADA anti-doping code,” Rogge said. “If an athlete under the jurisdiction of WADA is caught for anabolic steroids, he will have a suspension of two years. This is not the case in the major leagues where they suspend players for a number of matches.”

As for softball, Rogge said the issue there is one of ‘universality’ and he said he’d like to see the sport played in more countries before it gets back into the Games.

So the IOC already spoken, now is the turn that Major League Baseball need to respond.

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