Boxing, Weightlifting, Modern Pentathlon on Chopping Block for 2028 LA Olympics: IOC

Boxing, weightlifting and the modern pentathlon were given a timeline of about 18 months Thursday by the International Olympic Committee to make necessary changes to maintain their spots on the list of Olympic sports for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Last month, the IOC told the organizers of modern pentathlon it needed to find a replacement for equestrian jumping, mainly to make the sport more accessible to train and compete in by athletes around the world who may not have access to train in horse riding.

Boxing and weightlifting have been criticized by IOC president Thomas Bach in the past, with competitors accused of doping and the governing bodies of the sports accused of corruption.

Bach said the sports still have a chance to be included in future Games, provided they prove to the IOC's executive board that they have made satisfactory changes to the leadership and culture of the sports by the 2023 meeting that will agree on the list of sports.

The three sports are not on the current list of 28 games to be competed in during the 2028 Games, that will be approved by IOC members in February.

Currently, the list includes the additions made to the Tokyo games of skateboarding, surfing and sports climbing, introduced to appeal to younger viewers.

More sports could be added at the second meeting in 2023, when local groups can request events that would be of particular interest to the local market where the Games will be held.

Baseball and softball could be added again after appearing in the Tokyo games to attract Japanese fans, along with martial arts events.

Thomas Bach, Olympics, Los Angeles, Boxing, Weightlifting
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach says that boxing, weightlifting and the modern pentathlon could be eliminated from the 2028 Summer Olympic Games set to be held in Los Angeles. Above, president of Brazil's Olympic Committee Carlos Arthur Nuzman, left, and Bach visit Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Jan. 22, 2014. Felipe Dana/Associated Press File

The high-profile incident of a coach striking a horse at the Tokyo Olympics has undermined modern pentathlon's reputation despite more than 100 years in the Games since being created by IOC founder Pierre de Coubertin.

Skateboarding, surfing and sports climbing are set to receive a share of future Olympic broadcasting income, which is currently worth at least $15 million to each sport.

Soccer is still on the Los Angeles program, but Bach put FIFA on notice because of its plans to play World Cups every two years, instead of every four. The current cycle of men's World Cups would put any biennial tournament in a direct clash with the Los Angeles Olympics.

The World Cup plan, which has faced resistance in Europe and South America, is being pushed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino, but momentum has stalled in recent weeks.

Bach said the IOC still had not been consulted about the plan, but he is due to talk Saturday with Infantino — an elected IOC member — at an online meeting of Olympic sports leaders.

Baseball, softball and karate were not requested by organizers of the 2024 Paris Olympics, which will have breakdancing in addition to skateboarding, surfing and sports climbing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Los Angeles, 2028 Olympics
Boxing, weightlifting and modern pentathlon were put up for potential removal from the 2028 Olympics if they do not make organizational changes by the IOC's meeting in 2023. Above, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is shown, home of the 2028 Summer Olympics. Aaron P/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images