The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has agreed to grant additional time to the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) to finish verifying the eligibility of all 4.0 and 4.5 sport class players set to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Since January 2020, when the IPC declared the IWBF non-compliant with the 2015 IPC Athlete Classification Code, the global governing body of wheelchair basketball has needed to conduct eligibility assessments of 132 4.0 and 4.5 sport class players set to compete in Tokyo. This exercise - the first phase of an approved action plan towards Code-compliance - has found 119 players eligible and nine non-eligible. Four cases remain outstanding pending further information, which is why the IPC has accepted the IWBF’s request to extend the deadline for a second time from the original date of 29 May 2020.
Mike Peters, IPC Chief Executive Officer, said: “Due to the need to gather more information on four player cases, the IPC has agreed to grant the IWBF a second extension to the original end of May deadline. With such a small number of athletes still to be reviewed, no new deadline has been set by the IPC although continued progress is fully expected of the IWBF.
“The IPC will also continue to monitor the IWBF’s ongoing compliance with the approved action plan."
In addition to assessing all 4.0 and 4.5 players due to compete at Tokyo 2020, the IPC in January 2020 also requested that the IWBF ensures its own classification rules and operations align and are fully compliant with the IPC Athlete Classification Code by no later than 31 August 2021. At present IWBF is excluded from the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games programme. Failure to meet this deadline will mean that wheelchair basketball will not be readmitted into the Paris 2024 Games.