IOC members urge organization not to pay sports to attend Olympics
More than 100 members of the International Olympic Committee considered a proposal to pay sports to attend the Olympics on Wednesday, and many urged the IOC not to do it.
The organization has been in conversation with North American professional leagues regarding “financial compensation and returns for the stakeholders for their involvement,” according to Graham Dunbar of the Associated Press.
“The bottom line is we are on a slippery slope if we start paying people to come to the Olympic Games,” said New Zealand IOC member Barry Maister. “It’s fundamentally against the Olympic movement.”
NHL players have been playing in the Olympics since 1998, but the league hasn’t committed to allowing its players to compete in the Games beyond this year. The NHL finally agreed to a 16-day break in its regular season this year after lengthy negotiations with the International Ice Hockey Federation.
The IOC’s strict control of broadcast rights was a sticking point, Dunbar reports.
The NBA has sent pro players to the Olympics since 1992, but the Summer Games come during the league’s offseason.
MLB’s refusal to order a midseason break has hampered baseball’s attempts to regain Olympic status, Dunbar writes. Officials are trying to reinstate baseball and softball for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.