IOC's agenda packed for meeting

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland --- Elimination of endurance events in track and cycling, and the addition of mixed doubles in tennis are up for consideration this week by the International Olympic Committee.

At a two-day meeting that starts today, the IOC executive board will make final rulings on requests by sports federations for the addition or removal of disciplines and events for the 2012 London Games.

Most contentious are the proposed changes in cycling, notably the dropping of the individual pursuit race.

The sports proposals are among the top items for a meeting that will consider the reallocation of two of the three individual medals stripped from Marion Jones for doping at the 2000 Sydney Games. But the 100-meter gold will not go to disgraced Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou, according to officials with direct knowledge of the plans told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because the decision hasn't been announced yet.

Thanou missed drug tests on the eve of the 2004 Athens Games.

Jones' 200 gold is set to go to Pauline Davis-Thompson of the Bahamas, and her long jump bronze to Tatyana Kotova of Russia.

Cycling had seven track events for men and three for women at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Cycling's world governing body, the UCI, is expected to propose five events for men and five for women as part of a gender parity plan. The events are believed to be individual sprint, team sprint, keirin, team pursuit and the five-race omnium event.

Under that plan, five endurance races -- in men's and women's individual pursuit and points races, plus the men's madison -- would be dropped.

Britain's Bradley Wiggins, a two-time Olympic individual pursuit gold medalist, has said dropping the event could kill off endurance cycling.

"It fits with the most basic Olympic ideals, 'the highest, the fastest, the strongest, the furthest,' " said 1992 Olympic pursuit gold medalist Chris Boardman of Britain. "The general public get it. It's a straight race, man against man or woman against woman and the first across the line wins. It is easy to relate to an individual."

Contacted by The Associated Press, UCI president Pat McQuaid declined to specify which events were being proposed. But he said the program would promote gender equity and benefit cycling and the Olympics.

The International Tennis Federation, meanwhile, is proposing mixed doubles events for London. Tennis already has men's and women's singles and doubles events in the Olympics.

In August, the IOC said it wanted guarantees that top players in singles would be able to participate in mixed doubles.

Outside of the Olympics, the top singles players rarely play doubles or mixed doubles.

The IOC is unlikely to approve mixed doubles unless it is convinced the event will have a world-class field.

Also this week, the IOC will get progress updates from organizers of the next three Olympics -- the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, the 2012 London Olympics and 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Disgraced sprinter Marion Jones' individual Olympic medals for track and field events in Sydney, Australia, are finally ready to be distributed. Jones was stripped of the medals for doping. The IOC will withhold Jones' 100-meter gold medal from Katerina Thanou, another drug-tainted athlete.


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