The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said Thursday it will study a request by the track and field governing body to include cross-country running.
The Associated Press reports the IOC program commission is to meet in September and will consider the proposal from the IAAF.
The addition of a new sport to the winter program will probably be decided at the IOC session in Durban, South Africa in July, when the host city for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games will be selected.
According to the Associated Press the IOC has rejected previous IAAF petitions for cross-country and must consider if the event meets Olympic rules. Rule 6.2 of the Olympic Charter states that “only those sports which are practiced on snow and ice are considered as winter sports”.
The IOC reportedly has more scope to add events and competitors at the Winter Games compared to the Summer Games, which is restricted to 10,500 athletes.
IOC spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau said, “there is a little bit more flexibility within the winter program because there is no official cap in terms of athletes.
The IOC said its program commission will also begin evaluating requests from existing sports for new medal events at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
The program commission will advise the IOC executive board, which meets Oct. 23-25 in Acapulco, Mexico.