By Nick Butler at the Grimaldi Forum in Monte Carlo

All the proposed recommendations have so far been accepted by the IOC membership on the first morning of the decisive Session ©IOCA series of potentially sweeping reforms have been passed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) membership this morning as the Extraordinary Session opened here, although new questions as well as answers emerged.

Changes to the Olympic bidding process, allowing events to be held outside the host city in order to save costs, were among areas voted upon, as well as a shift from an "sport" to an "event-based" programme.

Other topics considered spanned "sustainability and legacy", "differentiation of the Olympic Games" and "Olympic Games management".

Each of the 13 recommendations were accepted "unanimously" by show of hand by the membership, although on occasions it appeared as if several hands had not in fact been raised.

Proposals to change the Olympic Games sports programme were always likely to provoke strong interaction, and so it proved, as more questions were raised there than for any other topic.

Among the members to query Italy's Working Group chairman Franco Carraro and ask for clarification on different areas were British duo Adam Pengilly and Princess Anne, as well as Irena Szewinska of Poland, Octavian Morariu of Romania and Denis Oswald of Switzerland.

Major concerns were expressed over how new events would be accommodated and the impact on other sports on the programme, while possible ramifications over revenues and worsening opportunities for smaller nations were also raised.

But with the green light given nonetheless, the stage is now set for new sports to appear, with baseball and softball seen as the most likely ones to be reintroduced to the programme at Tokyo 2020.

IOC members raise their hands to support the recommendations ©IOCIOC members raise their hands to support the recommendations ©IOC

New events within existing sports were also muted, with IOC President Thomas Bach welcoming the idea of more mixed gender events to "motivate" countries to have more female participation, although no concrete decisions are expected until next year, possibly at the next IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur in July.

Changes to the Olympic bidding programme were slightly more straightforward, although the practical consequences were similarly ambiguous, with several members raising concerns over a possible loss of atmosphere if more events are allowed to be held away from the host city.

One extreme potential consequence of this involves sliding sports at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics being moved to outside South Korea, with reports such a move would save around $120 million (£77 million/€97 million) in construction costs.

The proposal appears more likely to be used in a limited fashion or as a last resort option, however.

A register for Olympic bidding consultants was also approved, along with greater assistance and guidance from the IOC for cities throughout the process.

Other recommendations involved a proposal to "forge relationships with professional sports" and to "maximise synergies with Olympic Movement stakeholders".

Thomas Bach provided a lengthy address to re-explain the Agenda 2020 process before discussions began ©TwitterThomas Bach provided a lengthy address to re-explain the Agenda 2020 process before discussions began ©Twitter

The Session was opened with an address by Swiss President Didier Burkhalter, after a minutes silence to remember three IOC honorary members -  Ibraham Diallo of Guinea, Dame Mary Glen-Haig of Great Britain and Tay Wilson of New Zealand - who passed away earlier this year.

Further recommendations will be discussed this afternoon, including a proposal to convene a permanent Olympic television channel. 

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