By Emily Goddard

Scott Blackmun 080313March 8 - Scott Blackmun, chief executive of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has claimed his organisation backs both wrestling and baseball/softball, and hopes to see both on the shortlist being presented to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) members who will decide the fate of the disciplines hoping to make it onto the core sports programme.

Both sports face tough competition from karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, wakeboard and wushu as they bid for the prize of appearing at the 2020 Olympic Games.

Wrestling has been left fighting for its Olympic future following last month's decision by the IOC Executive Board to controversially axe it from the list of core sports after Rio 2016, despite the fact it has appeared in every Games - apart from once - since Athens in 1896.

Meanwhile, baseball and softball, both are big sports in America, formed a joint bid to become part of the core sports programme for the 2020 Games, with both sports last appearing at the Beijing 2008 Olympics before being dropped by the IOC.

Wrestling and baseball/softball will present to the IOC Executive Board alongside the six other bidders at its meeting in St Petersburg on May 29-31 before a final shortlist, expected to consist of three sports, is put through to the Session in Buenos Aires in September where they will face the full IOC vote for one sport to join the 2020 Games.

The IOC last month controversially decided to drop wrestling from the list of core sports after Rio 2016Last month the IOC controversially decided to drop wrestling from its list of core sports after Rio 2016

"I would say at the outset that we are supportive of both wrestling and baseball/softball," said Blackmun after a meeting today of the USOC Board of Directors at the Deloitte Global Office in New York City.

"We expect what will happened next is when the Executive Board meets again in May in St Petersburg they will recommend probably three sports to the full [IOC] membership.

"We hope to see both wrestling and baseball/softball on that list of recommended sports and at that point the IOC members will decide which one will be voted onto the programme.

"It will be up to the IOC members to decide."

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