Squash must keep up its campaign to gain inclusion on the Olympic programme, a senior member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has told delegations attending the World Squash Federation's (WSF) annual meeting.

Pierre Ducrey, the IOC's head of sports operations and international federation relations, briefed delegates on the process which led to the announcement of the controversial decision to overlook squash for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and choose golf and rugby sevens.

He admitted that they were chosen because they offered the Olympic Movement greater commercial opportunities because they were more popular.

But Ducrey acknowledged that squash did have a range of strengths, including athleticism, universality, a growing number of member nations and a good record on drug-testing.

Ducrey claimed that a strong link had been established between the IOC and the WSF, and that President Jacques Rogge would be hosting a meeting with the Federation in December.

He also revealed that the IOC will conduct an analysis of all 'Recognised Sports' in 2011, and will make a further study after the London 2012 Games with a view to announcing a process to consider new sports for the 2020 Games in 2013 – by when one sport is due to be voted off the programme.

Durcey fielded a variety of questions from the floor – acknowledging that it was clear that all athletes had been involved in the Olympic bid; that the next process for choosing sports would be more clear; and that, though 34 criteria of each of the bidding sports had been assessed, the two chosen had the highest commercial potential.

Later in the annual meeting, delegates elected Serbia to full membership of the WSF.

There was overwhelming support for the establishment of an Athletes' Commission, comprising four members appointed by the Professional Squash Association (PSA) and four by the Women's International Squash Players' Association (WISPA), plus one member appointed by the WSF.

Australia's Sarah Fitz-Gerald, a five-time world champion, was the elected chair of the new Commission.

The initiative, promoted by the IOC, is intended to improve communication between WSF and the athletes and provide a forum for athletes' views to be heard.

Article courtesy of Inside the Games, contact the writer of this story at [email protected]