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Baseball and softball in line for Tokyo 2020

ESPN staff
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IOC president Thomas Bach met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe © Getty Images
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Baseball and softball could be added to the programme for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, according to IOC president Thomas Bach.

"This will be under discussion," Bach told reporters on Wednesday. "We will have the first broad discussion in December in a meeting of the Executive Board of the IOC, then the Executive Board will present its first discussion paper to the IOC session in Sochi."

At an IOC vote in 2005, baseball and softball were dropped for the London 2012 Games.

The sports failed in a joint-bid to be reinstated for 2020 and 2024 in September, though Tokyo's selection as host of the Games has led to calls for them to be included in seven years' time.

Bach has stressed the need for flexibility, despite the Olympic Charter stating a sport's inclusion in the programme must be decided before the session electing the host city.

"I am open for more flexibility in the Olympic programme," Bach said. "But first we have to see what the rest of my colleagues in the IOC think."

There are many existing baseball and softball facilities in Tokyo with the sports popular in Japan.

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