The additions to the current list of 26 Olympic sports events follows requests made by the international federations concerned, and reflects the IOC's desire to refresh the Olympic programme, boost female participation and make the Games more appealing to young people.
The London 2012 Summer Olympics will feature women's boxing for the first time, with greater female participation in wrestling, swimming and cycling expected to follow. London may also see the introduction of mixed doubles for tennis.
As for the 2016 Games, the IOC proposed to add golf and rugby to the current list of 26 core Olympic sports. Baseball, karate, roller sports, softball and squash were also seeking inclusion on the Olympic programme, but IOC President Jacques Rogge said that after careful evaluation "in a transparent and fair process," the decision, taken by secret ballot, came down to "which two would add the most value".
Rogge noted that golf and rugby not only scored highly on all the key criteria, but they also "have global appeal, a geographically diverse line-up of top iconic athletes and an ethic that stresses fair play".
The host of the 2016 Games and the final decision on the new sports will be revealed in early October during the next Olympic Congress.
All modifications for 2012 and changes to the sports programme for 2016 are provisional, and will be reviewed after each Games.