IOC urged not to pay sports to attend Olympics

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 5, 2014 at 10:57 am •  Published: February 5, 2014

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — The IOC has been urged not to pay sports to attend the Olympics during talks on its relations with North American professional leagues.

The NHL has yet to commit to the Olympics beyond Sochi. Major League Baseball has refused to release top players for the Olympics. The NBA has sent elite players in its offseason since the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

The subject was addressed Wednesday when 100-plus International Olympic Committee members considered "financial compensation and returns for the stakeholders for their involvement" during wide-ranging debate on strategy.

"The bottom line is we are on a slippery slope if we start paying people to come to the Olympic Games," New Zealand member Barry Maister said. "It's fundamentally against the Olympic movement."

The NHL agreed to a 16-day pause freeing players for Sochi after long negotiations with the International Ice Hockey Federation. The IOC's strict control of broadcast rights was a sticking point.

Baseball has been hampered in its attempts to regain Olympic status by its unwillingness to extend the All-Star break, which is now four days.

Still, renewed efforts with strong support in Japan have begun to include baseball and softball at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Basketball's increased importance to the Olympics since the United States sent the original Dream Team 22 years ago was held up as a model of cooperation.

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