The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has warned the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) that the removal of wheelchair basketball from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games is one of the options it could pursue unless the federation implements an IPC approved action plan to improve athlete classification by 29 May 2020.
At the same time, due to the IWBF’s continued failure to comply with the IPC Athlete Classification Code, wheelchair basketball has been removed with immediate effect from the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games sport programme. Such exclusion may, however, be lifted if the IWBF takes measures to fully comply with the IPC Athlete Classification Code by 31 August 2021.
The unanimous decision taken by the IPC Governing Board at its meeting in Bonn, Germany (23-25 January) follows protracted discussions with the IWBF, which, as an International Federation, currently defines eligible impairments differently to the mandatory list of Eligible Impairments agreed on by the IPC General Assembly and reflected in the IPC Athlete Classification Code. The Eligible Impairments in the Paralympic Movement reflect the activities of the IOSDs that founded the IPC, and any changes must be approved by the IPC General Assembly.
The IPC has taken the decision now after the IWBF failed on numerous occasions to take actions to improve its Athlete Classification Code compliance.
Andrew Parsons, IPC President, said: “We appreciate that wheelchair basketball is one of the most popular sports at the Paralympic Games, but this does not mean that the IWBF is above the rules.”