- Title: Muaythai, cheerleading granted provisional Olympic status
- Date: 6th December 2016
- Summary: LAUSANNE PALACE HOTEL
- Embargoed: 21st December 2016 20:03
- Keywords: IOC Lausanne Executive Board Olympics Mark Adams
- Location: LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND
- City: LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND
- Country: Switzerland
- Reuters ID: LVA0055BQXGLJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The martial art of muaythai and cheerleading, with its strong youth appeal, received provisional recognition as Olympic sports by the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday (December 6).
The two sports will now be able to tap into some IOC funding and take part in a number of programmes, including athlete development and anti-doping. They take the number of recognized Olympic sports to 37.
At the end of their three-year provisional recognition period, they can apply to become part of the Olympic Games sports programme.
"Muaythai is an organization with 135 affiliated national federations, and nearly 60 of those are recognized by their respective Olympic national committees, they have nearly 400,000 registered athletes," said IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell following the decision of the IOC Executive Board.
"The international cheer union (ICU), it has over 100 national federations affiliated, and nearly 4.5 million registered athletes," McConnell added.
"It is a sport with growing popularity, a strong youth focus in schools and universities and we noted that."
McConnell, who said 16 sports had applied for recognition, added that both muaythai and cheerleading would receive $25,000 a year as direct funding from the IOC.
While becoming part of the Olympic Games is a drawn-out seven-year progress, the IOC has changed the rules to allow host cities to introduce sports of their choice for a one-off appearance in the Games.
Tokyo, hosts of the 2020 Games, will have surfing, sport climbing and karate among the six new sports they have included in their Olympics.
In other Olympic news former Switzerland President Samuel Schmid has taken over an International Olympic Committee investigation into doping at the 2014 Sochi winter Olympics after French judge Guy Canivet resigned, the IOC said.
Canivet was appointed earlier this year to lead the IOC probe after revelations of widespread doping in Russia and systematic cheating during the 2014 Games by Russian athletes, who were allegedly helped by the country's secret service.
IOC spokesman Mark Adams said Canivet, a French Constitutional Court judge, had stepped down for "strong personal reasons".
Canivet offered to remain at the IOC's service and "give advice whenever needed", Adams said.
His investigation was focusing on allegations of government involvement in Russian doping during the Sochi Games.
The 69-year-old Schmid is a former president of the Swiss Confederation and ex-head of the federal council in charge of the army, population and sport.
Canivet's resignation comes just days before Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren publishes the second part of his report into Russian doping in London on Friday.
His first report in July triggered a partial ban of Russian athletes at the Rio de Janeiro Games.
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