American bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor has accused the IOC of ignoring the wishes of athletes ©Getty Images

American bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor has accused the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of ignoring the wishes of athletes after the monobob discipline was added to the Beijing 2022 programme instead of the four-woman event.

Meyers Taylor, a three-time Olympic medallist, and double Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries of Canada have spearheaded a campaign to increase the global standing of four-woman bobsleigh.

But it was overlooked in favour of monobob, one of seven new medal events for Beijing 2022 confirmed by the IOC Executive Board here.

The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation Executive Committee voted in favour of including four-woman bobsleigh rather than monobob - one person bobsleigh - which President Ivo Ferriani was thought to prefer, earlier this year.

IOC sports director Kit McConnell cited cost of access, development and universality as key factors in the decision to select monobob but Meyers Taylor has claimed the discipline is "not an event most of us have ever done".

The 33-year-old insisted they would "keep fighting" for the development and the inclusion of four-woman despite the setback.

"Although I am excited the IOC has decided to add another event for women in bobsled, I am disappointed that it is not the four-woman event, the event the women requested," the American wrote on Facebook.

"Adding the monobob, although it adds a medal opportunity, does not add more numbers to the sport and does not give us equal participation as the men.

"I feel as though the female bobsledders around the world were not listened to in this regard and cannot help but be disappointed in the decision.

"To be fair, this is historic in that it adds another discipline for women's bobsled and that should be celebrated. 

"Personally it's a discipline that weighs heavily in my favour as I am one of the fastest pushing pilots in the world. 

"However, I would be remiss if I did not express my disappointment as myself and many others have been laying the groundwork for four-woman."

Monobob was chosen over the four-woman discipline by the IOC Executive Board ©Getty Images
Monobob was chosen over the four-woman discipline by the IOC Executive Board ©Getty Images

International Federations representing the affected sports have given a mixed reaction to the IOC announcement, which also included confirmation on athlete quotas and the number of competitors scheduled to participate in the Chinese capital.

International Ski Federation (FIS) secretary general Sarah Lewis told insidethegames the organisation was "disappointed when events proposed at the request of the FIS member National Ski Associations are not included".

Telemark, a snowboard Alpine mixed team parallel event and snowboard parallel slalom were rejected by the IOC.

Lewis added the FIS was "delighted" with the addition of mixed team events in freestyle skiing, snowboard cross, ski jumping and freestyle skiing, as well as freestyle skiing big air for men and women.

"We fully respect the IOC's extremely thorough process, which has taken place in evaluating both the events currently on the programme and the new proposals," Lewis said.

"And we absolutely stand by the clear requirements not to increase the size and cost of the Games."

The International Biathlon Union (IBU) expressed disappointment at the IOC for cutting their athlete quota by 20 - a decision which McConnell insisted was not a punishment for the corruption scandal involving the previous leadership at the embattled governing body.

An IBU statement said the decision was "a setback for the extensive IBU development efforts which are driven by the athletes' and coaches' ultimate goal to participate in the Winter Games".

The organisation added it would "work on proposals for a new quota allocation system", with a dedicated workshop set to be held during its Congress in September.

"In this process, the IBU would appreciate any advice from the IOC when implementing the quota cuts, especially regarding finding the right balance between universal participation and performance-based distribution of national quota spots at the Winter Olympics," the statement added.

The World Curling Federation (WCF) and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) were both granted additional teams at Beijing 2022.

The IOC added two mixed doubles curling pairings and increased the number of teams in the women's ice hockey tournament from eight to 10.

The IBU said they were disappointed in the decision to reduce biathlon's athlete quota by 20 ©Getty Images
The IBU said they were disappointed in the decision to reduce biathlon's athlete quota by 20 ©Getty Images

"It has always been our ambition to grow the number of teams competing at the Olympics to give all our active Member Associations a strong chance to compete on curling’s biggest stage," WCF President Kate Caithness said.

"We are delighted that the IOC have considered our proposal and have awarded us two more teams in this event."

IIHF President René Fasel said they were "extremely happy and satisfied with the decision of the IOC Executive Board".

"I want to thank the IOC and the organisers to make this possible," he said.

"This is one of the biggest milestones for women’s ice hockey since its inclusion into the Olympic Winter Games in Nagano 1998 and for all the female players who dream about competing at the Olympics."