Baseball and softball, dropped by the Olympics in 2012, could return for the 2020 Games in Tokyo, IOC president Thomas Bach said.
“This will be under discussion,” Bach said at a news conference on Wednesday, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. “We will have the first broad discussion in December in a meeting of the Executive Board of the IOC.”
IOC rules state a sport can only be included in the Games before the city is chosen, but Bach said he is willing to be flexible.
See also: IOC Vote Closes Olympic Chapter
Baseball fell short of reinstatement in an IOC vote in September, which as Baseball America’s John Manuel wrote, seemed to be the final nail for the sport in the Olympics.
But the passion in Japan for baseball would seem to have swayed the IOC to at least give the sport a second chance.
Bach said baseball and softball’s inclusion will be discussed at an IOC Executive Board meeting in December and in Sochi, Russia, site of the 2014 Winter Games, in February.
Baseball joined the Olympics in 1992, followed by softball in 1996. They were both voted out by the IOC in 2005, taking effect after the 2008 Olympics.