An agreement is yet to be reached over who would govern an Olympic skateboarding competition ©Getty Images

An agreement is still yet to be reached between the three bodies vying to run a potential skateboarding competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, as negotiations continue ahead of a crunch meeting of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Programme Commission on March 18. 

Street and park skateboarding were among five new sports proposed for inclusion by Tokyo 2020 organisers last year, along with baseball and softball, karate, sport climbing and surfing.

The proposal was submitted by the International Roller Sports Federation (FIRS), which had also unsuccessfully submitted an application for several roller skating events.

Final approval on all five sports is expected to be given by the IOC at its Session in Rio de Janeiro.

Many believe, however, that a true skateboarding body should assume control to avoid a repeat of snowboarding's amalgamation into the International Ski Federation ahead of its Olympic debut at Nagano in 1998, claiming this took away much of the sport's unique identity.

Both the International Skateboarding Federation (ISF) and the World Skateboarding Federation (WSF), led by respective Americans Gary Ream and Tim McFerran, are vying for contention. 

This comes as the IOC begin an application process for more sports to apply for Olympic recognition.

Neither the ISF nor the WSF are IOC-recognised or members of SportAccord.

It remains unclear if either have been invited to apply, with the IOC revealing only that discussions are "ongoing".

insidethegames understands that the IOC have been pushing for all three to combine and work together, but so far this has proved unsuccessful as each side refuses to concede ground.

IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell is leading negotiations with all three bodies ©Getty Images
IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell is leading negotiations with all three bodies ©Getty Images

"There’s a set of discussions going on in the skateboarding community between the three Federations following our meeting in Lausanne last year," IOC sports director Kit McConnell told insidethegames.

"We’re working towards a solution.

"All the bodies in skateboarding are looking for clarity in terms of the roles and responsibilities within the sport."

The issue may be discussed at next week's IOC Executive Board (EB) meeting in Lausanne.

It is likely, however, that no real progress will made until, at the earliest, the subsequent EB meeting in June.

This will follow "detailed discussion" on the issue at a meeting of the IOC Programme Commission on March 18 in Lausanne, chaired by Italy's Franco Carraro.

IOC officials claim to be confident an agreement will ultimately be reached.

Concerns must remain behind the scenes at the slow progress, however, particularly because skateboarding is viewed by several leading IOC officials as a key sport to add to the Games in order to appeal to younger audiences.

Other figures in the skateboarding community oppose Olympic inclusion completely, and have slammed the likes of Ream and McFerran as opportunists looking to cash-in on the Games.

Skateboarding events including the X Games have been criticised for their lack of anti-doping programmes ©Getty Images
Skateboarding events including the X Games have been criticised for their lack of anti-doping programmes ©Getty Images

Added intrigue has been provided this week by the ongoing European X Games in Oslo, a privately run event which Ream has been attending as skateboarding competitions are held alongside those in winter disciplines.

IOC President Thomas Bach criticised the event for its failure to adopt World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) approved drug testing.

McFerran has added his voice to these critics, telling insidethegames in a statement that events aspiring to be qualifying events for the Olympics should "contact [the] WSF and immediately implement an education programme for competing athletes on the WADA requirements".

"It concerns us a great deal that with skateboarding’s potential addition to the Olympic roster that there is no commitment to implement WADA education and testing among some of the major contests that have expressed an interest to serve as qualifying events," he said.