By David Owen at The Hilton in Buenos Aires

Antonio Castro, son of the former Cuban leader Fidel, found himself the attention of unwanted attention at a press conference staged by baseball-softball to promote its bid to get on the Olympic programme for 2020September 6 - Antonio Castro stole the show at a media conference given by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) here today, but probably not in the way the sports would have wanted.


The son of Fidel, on the platform in his role as a WBSC vice-president, was the object of a hostile inquisition from one particular questioner who wanted to know how the presence of the son of a former "dictator" of a "generally repressive" country helped rather than hindered baseball-softball's prospects of winning the battle with squash and wrestling for a place on the 2020 Olympic programme.

It was left to Don Porter, all-American co-President of the Confederation, to leap to Castro's defence, saying that the Cuban, who is an orthopaedic surgeon, was "a great athlete in his own right" who had been "involved in our sports for many, many years".

Moreover, Porter went on in reply to the questioner, "I would correct you in regards to Mr Castro being a dictator: he was the President of the country."

WBSC Co-Presidents Don Porter and Riccardo Fraccari, Nippon Professional Baseball Commissioner Ryozo Kato and WBSC vice-president Antonio Castro outline why baseball and softball should regain its place on the Olympic programme in 2020WBSC Co-Presidents Don Porter and Riccardo Fraccari, Nippon Professional Baseball Commissioner Ryozo Kato and WBSC vice-president Antonio Castro outline why baseball and softball should regain its place on the Olympic programme in 2020

In response to further questioning, Riccardo Fraccari, the other WBSC co-President, and Beng Choo Low, the organisation's secretary general, also came out slugging on Castro's behalf.

"In Cuba, baseball is really the sport of the people," was Fraccari's comment, while Low asserted that Castro's presence demonstrated that the two sports "appeal to everyone from all backgrounds, all cultures, with no discrimination whatsoever".

As for Castro's response to the media's curve ball, he bunted it away with a phlegmatic "we are here to speak of baseball-softball".

International Olympic Committee (IOC) members are scheduled to choose one sport to add to the 2020 programme on Sunday.

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