International Federation of Fitness and Bodybuilding (IFBB) President Rafael Santonja today expressed his confidence the organisation will achieve International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognition.
Santonja was speaking during the opening of the IFBB's Annual Congress, held here today prior to the start of the World Bodybuilding Championships in the Spanish seaside resort tomorrow.
The IFBB was granted provisional recognition by the IOC in 1998 but it was withdrawn nearly four years later.
Santonja is currently serving his third term as President, having been re-elected at the IFBB Congress in both 2010 and 2014.
Under his leadership, the IFBB are striving to be one of the most active Federations in the world.
The Spaniard claims the world governing body now has a "duty" to achieve IOC recognition and insisted it is a realistic ambition.
"With this, nobody will be able to say to us 'no' over something that we deserve - the full Olympic recognition," Santonja said.
"We are going to make it happen."
Santonja revealed he has held regular meetings with IOC President Thomas Bach, who he claimed is receptive and aware of the good progress the IFBB is making.
"It [the IOC] is a powerful organisation which has to be conservative," he said.
"We are really working with them and approaching them with due respect.
"I am sure we are going to have good news soon."
The IFBB was granted provisional recognition towards the end of Spaniard Juan Antonio Samaranch’s 21-year reign as IOC President.
The year it was withdrawn, 2001, coincided with that in which Belgium's Jacques Rogge succeeded Samaranch.
"President Samaranch was such a great leader in welcoming us and helping us and then we had a period with another President that we know - it’s not a secret - did not like - we don’t know why - bodybuilding," Santonja said.
Among the requirements the IFBB must fulfil as part of its final application for IOC recognition is the creation of an Athletes’ Committee.
A move to do so was approved today at the Congress.
"The Athletes’ Committee must be run by an athlete that is in competition, an athlete who has fulfilled certain requirements," Santonja said prior to the Congress' vote on the matter.
"So we are working on this.
"We are asking you for the permission to include an Athletes’ Committee in Article [14.4] and then to create the Athletes’ Committee following the IOC guidelines."
Today’s proceedings started with a welcome to the IFBB’s newly-affiliated members - American Samoa, Andorra, Angola, Cameroon, Cook Islands, Fiji, Grenada, Liechtenstein and Monaco.
The Congress analysed different projects and suggestions about rules and organising matters.
It also outlined the 2018 calendar, due to see the World Bodybuilding Championships and Annual Congress held in Spanish city Marbella.
Delegates and officials from a record 85 countries participated in this year’s Congress, which was the 71st edition.