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Baseball, softball could return to Olympics by 2020

Baseball and softball could make their return to the Olympics at the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.

The sports attempted to re-enter the program during an International Olympic Committee meeting this fall, but fell short of the necessary votes.

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Now, according to IOC President Thomas Bach, they will be considered again.

“This will be under discussion,” Bach said at a news conference on Wednesday. “We will have the first broad discussion in December in a meeting of the Executive Board of the IOC.”

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After that, the board will present a discussion paper at an IOC session in Sochi, site of the upcoming 2014 Winter Games.

Baseball and softball were dropped in 2012 after an IOC vote in 2005.

IOC rules state that for a sport to be included in a specific Games, it must be added before the host city is chosen. But Bach said: ""I am open for more flexibility in the Olympic program.”

Japan’s love of baseball and softball  -- and an abundance of fields in that country -- could play a role in the decision-making process.

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