International Federation of Fitness and Bodybuilding (IFBB) President Rafael Santonja has said he is confident bodybuilding will feature at the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, despite its omission from the initial programme.
Bodybuilding is due to be contested at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, but was not one of the 39 sports confirmed for the following edition of the quadrennial event awarded to Chile’s capital on Saturday (November 4).
"We have to work on it - nothing is granted," Santonja told insidethegames following the conclusion of the 2017 IFBB World Bodybuilding Championships here.
"Sport is changing and we have to understand and be sensible with the different Organising Committees.
"I think we have great values and it is our duty to work with the Organising Committees to prove that we may be a very successful part of a very attractive programme.
"So we have to rely on our capacity and we have to deal intensively with all the authorities.
"There are many sports.
"We are new in this area and we have to do our merits and we have to earn a proper reputation and the respect day by day.
"I feel very confident that we are going to be in that programme."
Bodybuilding was formally approved for inclusion at Lima 2019 during the PanAmSports - formerly known as Pan American Sports Organization - Extraordinary General Assembly held in Qatar's capital Doha in November of last year.
As well as bodybuilding, other non-Olympic sports set to appear include basque pelota, bowling, racquetball, roller sports and water skiing.
They will be joined by the 28 full Olympic sports plus four of the sports added to the Tokyo 2020 programme - baseball and softball, karate, skateboarding, and, for the first time, surfing.
Asked if the IFBB had received an explanation over why bodybuilding had not been included on the initial programme for Santiago 2023, Santonja said the organisation did not expect one.
"We know that the initial programme is made with the sports that have been [on the programme] longer," the Spaniard told insidethegames.
"We are brand new and still [have a long way] to go because we are going to be in the 2019 [Games] as our debut.
"Before that, we are going to be in other Games.
"We are already in the Asian Games, so we are going to put all this information together."
Santiago was the sole bidder for the 19th edition of the Games, following the withdrawal of Buenos Aires earlier this year.
The decision to confirm the city as hosts was taken at the PanAmSports General Assembly in Czech Republic’s capital Prague with Santiago 2023’s proposal and an Evaluation Commission report having been presented.
Aquatics, archery, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, basque pelota, bowling, boxing, canoeing, climbing and cycling were included as part of the bid.
Equestrian, fencing, hockey, football, golf, gymnastics, handball, judo, karate, modern pentathlon, racquetball, rowing and rugby sevens are also in the plans.
The current programme is completed by sailing, shooting, skateboarding, skating, squash, surfing, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, volleyball, water skiing, weightlifting and wrestling.