By Gary Anderson

January 17 - Inas has launched a bid for basketball to be included at Tokyo 2020 Paralympics ©InasThe International Federation for sport for athletes with an intellectual disability (Inas) has today officially launched its bid to get basketball back on the programme for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Basketball for athletes with an intellectual disability (ID basketball) had previously been part of the Paralympics programme, but a scandal involving the Spanish team at Sydney 2000 resulted in all athletes with an intellectual disability being banned by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

The move came about after it was discovered 10 of the Spanish basketball team who won the gold medal at Sydney 2000 had not been tested to prove they had a mental disability, resulting in defeated finalists Russia being awarded the gold medal.

As a result, athletes were banned from Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, and were only allowed back at London 2012, where athletes competed in athletics, swimming and table tennis.

The reinstating of athletes with intellectual disabilities was announced by the IPC at its 2009 General Assembly after new rules and guidelines regarding classification were agreed with Inas.

Basketball is one of a number of sports bidding for Tokyo 2020 inclusion after the IPC launched the bidding process in November.

There are currently 22 sports on the Paralympic programme for Rio 2016, with ttriathlon and canoeing being added to the list following London 2012.

Basketball will be up against the likes of badminton, handball, hockey, taekwondo and powerchair football, which are all vying for Tokyo 2020 inclusion, with the IPC set to announce which sports will make it onto the programme in November this year.

"We realise that the application process is a very competitive process and we face tough competition from other sports," said Inas President Amaury Russo.

"However, basketball for athletes with an intellectual disability is not a new sport within the Paralympic Games, but a re-instatement of a sport that already featured until 2000 in Sydney.

"By Tokyo, 20 years and four Paralympic Games will have passed without ID basketball, and it is time to put that right".

Basketball is expected to be one of eight sports that will feature at the fifth INAS Global Games in Guayaquil, Ecuador in 2015, along with athletics, swimming, table tennis, rowing, futsal, tennis and cycling.

Taekwondo has also been included as a demonstration sport at the 2015 Inas Global Games, which first took place in Bollnas, Sweden in 2005, followed by Liberec 2009 and Liguria 2011.

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