Softball rejects joint 2016 Olympic bid with baseball
Softball rejected a proposal by baseball for a joint Olympic bid
The ISF said softball has offered the IOC a "doping-free, universal team sport"
The two sports are among seven competing for two openings at the 2016 Olympics
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Softball chose to go its own way for the Olympics, rejecting a proposal from baseball for a joint bid to get reinstated for the 2016 Summer Games.
"We have offered the IOC a doping-free, universal team sport that reflects the values of Olympism all over the world," International Softball Federation president Don Porter said Friday.
Porter met Thursday with Harvey Schiller, the president of the International Baseball Federation in Orlando, Florida. Schiller said he would move forward with baseball's bid to get back to the Olympics.
The IOC voted in 2005 to drop baseball and softball for the 2012 London Olympics, and softball officials have said their sport was hurt by baseball's doping scandals.
The two sports are among seven competing for two openings for new sports at the 2016 Olympics. Baseball officials had argued that a combined bid would enhance the chances of both sports. The IOC will vote in October on which sports to add.
Porter said although softball's bid is for a women's sport, his group has offered the IOC an option of adding men's softball. In a telephone interview, Porter said he thought combining with baseball would hurt that effort.
"We're an independent sport, and we want to continue that way," Porter said. "This is no disrespect in any way to baseball. Baseball's a great sport."
Schiller said he was disappointed on behalf of baseball and softball players around the world.
The two sports are now vying with rugby, golf, squash, karate and roller sports for inclusion in 2016. The decision will be made during the IOC session at Copenhagen, where the International Olympic Committee will also select the 2016 city from among the four finalists -- Chicago, Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro.
Last week, baseball and softball submitted separate bid proposals to the IOC, along with the five other sports.
Several baseball federations, including those of Japan, Europe and Africa, have written to the IBAF supporting the idea of a joint bid with softball.
Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.