By Duncan Mackay

3x3 basketball Singapore 2010July 9 - A decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) not to add any new disciplines to the programme for Rio 2016 has left several sports disappointed, including basketball who had been lobbying hard for 3x3 to be included.

The IOC Executive Board has taken the controversial decision not to include any more events because of fears it would lead to extra financial pressure on the Brazilian organisers. 

Other sports who had applied to add new disciplines to Rio 2016 included cycling, who had wanted to include a points race and BMX freestyle and mountain bike eliminator events for both men and women; triathlon, who had hoped to have a mixed relay included; and judo, who were applying to put on a team event involving men and women.

An Olympic Programme Commission meeting scheduled to be held in Lausanne last Saturday (July 6) was cancelled following the IOC Executive Board decision.

Under the rules of the Olympic Charter, the IOC Executive Board are able to add new disciplines without needing the approval of the full membership because the sports are already on the programme.

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) were among those upset by the decision, having been confident that 3x3, which made its international debut at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Singapore to worldwide acclaim, would be included. 

Mixed Relay TriathlonTriathlon had been hoping to include a mixed relay on the programme at Rio 2016 but have now been left disappointed by the IOC decision not to add any new disciplines 

They, along with several other sports, disputed the IOC Executive Board judgement that "any request from International Federations (IFs) that would result in a higher number of athletes or increased number of medals, thereby adding to the cost and complexity of the Games, would not be considered", claiming it was unfair.

"We are very disappointed to learn that, as a consequence, 3x3 would not be considered at this stage, based on reasons unrelated to the merits of the discipline," a FIBA spokesman told insidethegames.

"We strongly believe that 3x3 is an exciting and spectacular discipline which offers a unique cocktail of sports and urban culture and would perfectly fit within the Olympic Games and responds to the IOC's clear wish to rejuvenate and modernise the summer programme.

"We are very thankful to Rio 2016 for their continued support in our efforts for the inclusion of 3x3."
All the sports are expected to try again to get the new disciplines added to the programme for the 2020 Olympics, which will be held in Istanbul, Madrid or Tokyo.

"FIBA will be ready again for the next opportunity to bid for 3x3 as an Olympic discipline as soon as this is possible," the FIBA spokesman told insidethegames.

"FIBA also notes with regret that, as a consequence of the above-mentioned decision, also its third request for 16 teams in the men's tournament at the Olympic Games will not be considered."

A spokesman for the IOC told insidethegames: "The Executive Board reiterated that any request from IFs that would result in a higher number of athletes or increased number of medals, adding to the cost and complexity of the Games, would not be considered.

"There were a number of factors that led to the decision; a desire not to add to the complexity of the Games but also that it would be prudent to allow the next IOC President, to be elected on September 10, to be a part of the discussions as this is an important issue for the Olympic Games moving forward."

Wrestling OlympicsWrestling was recommended for the axe by the IOC Executive Board after Rio 2016 only for a worldwide campaign to spring up, which seems set to save it ahead

This is the latest controversy to hit the Olympic sports programme.

The IOC Executive Board recommended in February that wrestling should be dropped from the list of core sports after Rio 2016.

But, following a backlash around the world, it is widely expected to be voted back on the programme, ahead of rivals baseball-softball and squash, when the IOC Session meets to decide in Buenos Aires on September 8. 

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