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Golf and rugby sevens face Olympic 2016 vote- 9 Oct 2009 00:00:00

Golf and rugby sevens are facing an International Olympic Committee vote to confirm whether they will become Olympic sports and be included in the programme for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The International Olympic Committee's executive board voted to include both at a meeting two months ago.

However the recommendation must be rubber-stamped by the 106 IOC members at a congress in Copenhagen.

However, the IOC insists neither will be included as a demonstration sport at the London 2012 Olympics.

The IOC ended the practice of demonstration sports in 1992 and neither taekwondo or triathlon, the two most recent additions to the Olympic programme at the Sydney 2000 Games, were trialled in Atlanta four years earlier.

Top golfers Padraig Harrington and Michelle Wie and New Zealand rugby great Jonah Lomu will be part of their sport's final presentations.

The IOC congress will have a yes/no vote on the inclusion of each sport and each sport only needs a 51% majority to be approved.

Softball, squash, baseball, karate and roller sports were also in contention for Olympic spots until being eliminated by the executive board vote in August.

Golf was played at the Paris Games in 1900 and four years later in St Louis, but has never returned to the Olympic agenda.

One of the main issues has been whether top players will compete in the Olympics when they already have a full schedule, but superstar Tiger Woods has indicated he would play.

The proposed format would be a 72-hole strokeplay competition for men and women, with 60 players in each field. The world's top 15 players would qualify automatically, and all major professional tours would alter tournament schedules to avoid a clash with the Olympics.

Rugby union, which was played in four different Olympics between 1900 and 1924 in the full 15-a-side format, will play the seven-a-side version for both men and women.

The International Rugby Board would scrap its Sevens World Cup to ensure the Olympics is the sport's top event. Sevens rugby is already part of the Commonwealth Games.

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