LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) – The impasse over doping rules at the Turin Winter Games, the possible inclusion of women’s boxing and other new events in 2012 and a final ruling in Jerome Young’s six-year-old drug case are being considered by Olympic leaders this week.

The International Olympic Committee executive board convenes Wednesday for its first full meeting since the July session in Singapore when London was awarded the 2012 Games and baseball and softball were voted off the program.

Topping the agenda for the three-day meeting is an update Friday from Italian organizers on planning for the Winter Olympics, which open in the northern city of Turin on Feb. 10.

After the most recent onsite inspection in September, the IOC reported that preparations were “nearly complete.” However, financial and doping issues have clouded the picture.

Most pressing is Italy’s refusal to ease its hard-line position on doping as a criminal offense. Government officials and legislators have resisted proposals to weaken or lift the law for the period of the Olympics, raising the possibility of athletes being arrested or jailed for doping.

Olympic regulations classify doping as a sporting offense, with athletes facing disqualification from the games and possible longterm suspensions rather than criminal sanctions.

Mario Pescante, an IOC member who serves as the Italian government’s supervisor for the games, has failed to convince Parliament to change the law.

The IOC stresses that the Olympic rules were accepted by Turin organizers when they were awarded the games in 1999.

“This not a new issue,” IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said. “This has been on the table since the host city contract was signed nearly seven years ago. The onus of resolving the issue is in the hands of the games’ organizers.”

In the meantime, the IOC board will consider adding new events and disciplines for the 2012 London Games. In July, the full IOC voted to drop baseball and softball after the 2008 Beijing Games, leaving 26 sports on the program for London. Baseball and softball are pushing for a new vote in a bid for reinstatement in February.

The IOC board has the power to make changes in the events and disciplines which make up the existing sports. Up for consideration are the additions of women’s boxing, open-water events in swimming, 50-meter swim races in backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly, and women’s steeplechase in track and field.

The IOC is eager for gender equity in the Olympics. Apart from baseball, boxing is the only existing summer Olympic sport without women’s events. Women’s wrestling was added for the 2004 Athens Games.

Boxing has run into problems with the IOC, however. The IOC froze more than $9 million in payments to the International Boxing Federation after the Athens Games because of concerns over judging in the sport.

On another issue, the IOC is due to close the chapter on the protracted Young case by formally stripping the American runner of the gold medal from the 1,600 relay at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

The Court or Arbitration for Sport ruled in July that only Young should be disqualified for his 1999 doping test, upholding the victory of Michael Johnson – the fifth and final Olympic gold of his career – and the rest of the U.S. team.

The IOC is also expected to ratify last week’s decision by CAS to reinstate Colombian cyclist Maria Luisa Calle as the bronze medalist from the women’s point race in Athens. CAS overturned her disqualification by the IOC, saying the headache medication she took did not contain banned substances. Calle’s medal had been awarded to American cyclist Erin Mirabella, the original fourth-place finisher.

AP-ES-10-25-05 1518EDT


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