5 Mar 2009

IOC to watch IRB sevens World Cup in Dubai

8:50 am on 5 March 2009

The International Olympic Committee will be attending the IRB rugby sevens World Cup in Dubai this weekend as the sport looks for Olympic inclusion.

The International Rugby Board is using the event, which includes a 24-team men's competition and sixteen-team women's tournament, to showcase their Olympic campaign.

Rugby is competing with baseball and softball, golf, karate, squash and roller-sports for two places in the Olympic Games programme from 2016.

A fortnight ago, the IRB completed their 2016 programme review questionnaire in which they gave detailed answers to 80 questions from the IOC.

Now comes the practical assessment. Two International Olympic Committee delegates will be in Dubai to watch the tournament.

The IOC will be visiting one showcase event from all seven tender sports before a final decision on which two sports are to be elevated to Olympic status is made in Copenhagen this October.

The IRB became am IOC recognised international federation in 1995 and believe they meet all the criteria for inclusion in the Olympics - from its spirit of fair play to its ability to lure new commercial partners to the Games.