Golf, rugby union and squash have been included in a shortlist of five sports being considered for the 2012 Olympics.
Karate and roller sports complete the list, while softball, baseball and modern pentathlon could be excluded.
"We have sent a questionnaire to the 28 Summer federations represented in the Olympic Games," an IOC spokesman said.
"It is all part of an ongoing review of the programme. As part of this process the IOC has decided to include five sports not currently in the Games."
IOC president Jacques Rogge has said that no sport can be included without another dropping out.
"We'll decide (about new entries) in 2005. Golf, rugby, squash and roller skating are knocking on the door," Rogge told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
"But for every novelty, we will need to give up a discipline. Nothing can be added. The golden numbers are 300 events, 28 sports, 10,400 athletes at most."
Golf and rugby union have been part of the Games before, while squash, karate and roller sports are still awaiting their debut.
World Squash Federeration president Susie Simcock said: "We have fought for 20 years to achieve our dream of being on the Olympic programme.
"Every top squash player would rank an Olympic medal as the greatest prize in the sport. This review by the IOC is wonderful news for squash."
Argentina scrum-half Augustin Pichot is among those campaigning on behalf of rugby union, which was an Olympic sport in 1900, 1908, 1920 and 1924.
"For me playing in the Olympic Games would be the highest achievement as a rugby
player," he says.