Hopes for more women’s 2012 cycling events dashed
Campaign for equality doomed to failure
The campaign for equality in men’s and women’s track cycling events at the London 2012 Olympic Games looks to have failed. The IOC has announced that no events would be added to its programme meaning there will be seven men's and only three women's events.
British Cycling began lobbying for parity after the Beijing Games, where the female sprinter Pendleton had only one opportunity to win a gold medal while her male counterpart, Chris Hoy, had three.
But the IOC said additional women's events could only be included at the expense of existing men's events to avoid adding to the overall number of athletes competing.
British Cycling president Brian Cookson said: “We would be very concerned about the possibility of the loss of any men's events," but he added that the IOC’s solution represented a very unsatisfactory conclusion to the campaign for equality.
Campaigners who had welcomed yesterday's inclusion of women's boxing in the 2012 games said the decision not to add any more women's events unless categories for the men were dropped was a setback.
A senior IOC source said cycling, swimming and wrestling have until December, when it meets in Lausanne, to propose any changes for the London Games. The IoC's stance has been clear over its stance on adding new events to existing Olympic sports and today's announcement should not come as a surprise, when the cycling's world governing body secured the inclusion of BMX at the Beijing Olympics it was at the expense of the kilometre time trial – which until then had been track cycling's blue riband event.