The International Olympic Committee mandates that the activity be overseen by an international nonprofit organization that administers at least one sport. Once a sport has been recognized, it is granted International Sports Federation (IF) status. A sport may be recognized by the IOC yet never compete in the Olympic Games. These sports include athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, cricket, equestrian, field hockey, football (soccer), golf, handball, judo, karate, lacrosse, rugby, sailing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, and wrestling.
Skeletal sports are those that do not involve any type of physical contact between athletes. They include acrobatics, gymnastics, tumbling, and vaulting. Because there is no risk of injury, these sports are popular among young people. Non-skeletal sports include athletics, boxing, cross country running, diving, equestrian, fencing, freestyle skiing, golf, rowing, sailing, synchronized swimming, water polo, weight lifting, and wrestling.
Olympic disciplines are the specific events that make up each sport. There are two ways to become an official event at the Olympic level: first, through consensus by global sporting organizations such as the IAAF for track and field events; second, through national governing bodies for their respective countries for all other sports.
Events can also be abolished during the course of time.
Is there a method? To be included on the Olympic program, a sport must first be recognized: it must be governed by an International Federation that verifies the sport's operations adhere to the Olympic Charter. Once this has been done, the IOC will grant the sport its own trademark and authorize the use of "Olympic" before the name of the sport.
Many sports have been added in the past and will no doubt be added in the future. A number of factors are taken into account in deciding which sports should make the cut. These include popularity in countries where the Games will be held; the ability of nations to finance competitions; the number of professionals involved in the sport; and what events are available at what levels within the sport. There is no guarantee that every sport will be represented at London 2012 but those that are chosen will certainly enjoy the prestige and glory that come with being part of such a prestigious event.
IOC stands for International Olympic Committee. The International Olympic Committee is in charge of overseeing all elements of the Olympic Games and choosing whether sports will or will not be included. According to the IOC website, many of the organization's 99 members are former athletes or current sporting leaders from throughout the world. Others have been elected by national bodies such as the US Olympic Committee and the Canadian Olympic Association.
The IOC reviews the status of every sport at least once a year and makes decisions on whether it will continue to be part of the program. Sports that do not meet the criteria for inclusion may be removed from the program through attrition or cancellation. For example, baseball and softball were dropped as official sports of the 2008 Beijing Summer Games because there was not enough interest from countries to support both sports during their off-years.
In addition to making decisions on which sports will be included in the program, the IOC also has final say over what events will be held at each Games. For example, weightlifting was removed from the program after the 1988 Seoul Summer Games because only eight nations had qualified athletes for the event. There was not enough interest from other countries to justify including it again at future Games.
When selecting events to include in the program, the IOC looks at how popular they are with fans across the world. If an event is not attracting people's attention then it likely won't be included in the program.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is the regulating body of the Olympic Games, and as such, it has the authority to judge athletes in violation of Olympic laws, for which their Olympic medals may be revoked (i.e. rescinded). The guilty athlete must return stripped medals to the IOC.
An example of this occurred at the 2008 Beijing Olympics when Chinese judoka Chen Jingxuan was caught using a drug that enhances muscle contraction. Chen was given a one-year suspension by the Chinese Judo Association and had her medals withdrawn. At the IOC's request, China allowed Chen to retain her gold medal after she served her suspension.
If an athlete is found to have committed fraud or manipulation of any kind, then they lose all rights to their medals. An example of this would be if an athlete was discovered to have used anabolic steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) during competition; they would be disqualified from all future events controlled by the anti-doping system. Their previous victories would not be vacated however, because doing so could allow someone to compete cleanly with tainted drugs in their system.
For most violations, including doping, there are levels of punishment ranging from a warning to disqualification from all future competitions. In general, more serious infractions will receive a harsher penalty. For example, an athlete who fails a drug test may be suspended for several months or permanently banned from competition.