IOC: 2020 Olympic site will shift if club refuses women


The International Olympic Committee has given officials at Kasumigaseki Golf Club a choice: change the existing membership policy to allow women or lose its spot as host course for the 2020 Olympics.

Last month the course was expected to vote on allowing female members for the first time, but instead officials opted to postpone the vote and the head of the club's board of directors termed the controversy a "nuisance." IOC vice president John Coates was in Tokyo this week and indicated that further delays on the matter won't be tolerated.

"At some point, there has to be a cut off," Coates told the Associated Press. "Image wise, our position is clear. We will only go to a club that has non-discrimination."

Kasumigaseki currently allows women to play the course during the week and on Saturday. But women are not allowed on the course on Sunday, and the club boasts an all-male membership. The cost to become a new, full member is reportedly around $105,000 and must be accompanied by a reference from a current member.

According to the report, Coates indicated the IOC would need Kasumigaseki to change its membership rule by the end of June in order to retain its status as host site.

"It's possible to go elsewhere, but I think this is going to work," he said. "It's heading in the right direction for them to have a non-discriminatory membership procedure."