Joint baseball, softball Olympic bid expected by month's end

Baseball and softball officials plan to formalize their plans to make a joint bid for Olympic reinstatement by the end of the month.

The International Baseball Federation says it hopes to finalize a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Softball Federation at a meeting in Rotterdam on March 17 and then submit it to the International Olympic Committee.

Baseball and softball are competing with karate, roller sports, sports climbing, squash, wakeboard and wushu for one spot on the 2020 program. The IOC will hold its vote in September 2013.

The IOC voted in 2005 to remove baseball and softball from the Olympic program after the 2008 Beijing Games. As separate bids, the two sports both failed to return for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.