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  • 11 / 01 / 2006

Jose Ramon Fernandez, president of the Cuban Olympic Committee, made a public call on Monday for baseball to return to the Olympic Games.

"The great stars of football do not play in the Olympic Games, but nonetheless it is in the Olympic calendar," Fernandez told local television, adding that he would push for baseball's inclusion in the Olympics, at the 11th World Sports For All Congress which begins on Wednesday in Havana.

Fernandez dismissed the arguments made by International Olympic Committee president, Belgium's Jacuqes Rogge, who demanded that players from the United States Major Leauge take part, saying that the Olympics should represent the best from each sport; and that the sport change its anti-doping practices.

"The best soccer players go to the World Cup, and the under-21 teams go to the Olympics," he said. "This is discrimination against baseball."

He also questioned whether the major leagues were really best of the best. In the recent World Baseball Classic, only four teams of the 16 teams were mainly made up of major league players and of those only the Dominican Republic reached the semi-finals.

The World Sports for All Congress ends on Friday, and will be attended by 1,100 delegates from 128 countries and regions, 24 members of the International Olympic Committee and seven presidents of local committees.

Source: Xinhua

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