Mexico have been suspended by FIBA as problems intensify within the Central American nation ©FIBA

Mexico has been suspended by the International Basketball Association (FIBA) as concerns grow over alleged Government inteference across Olympic sports, while a similar ban in place against Russia since July has been lifted.

The former decision casts into doubt Mexico's participation at next year's Olympic Games, despite the Central American nation having secured a place at July's World Olympic Qualifying Tournament after they reached the semi-finals of September's FIBA Americas Championships in Mexico City.

FIBA and FIBA Americas representatives met with Mexico's National Commission of Physical Culture and Sports (CONADE) head Alfredo Castillo over the summer, a statement explained, with the official pledging then to formally recognise the Mexican Basketball Federation (ADEMEBA) "within a period of several weeks". 

But despite FIBA granting ADEMEBA additional time to formalise such recognition by CONADE, ADEMEBA has still not been recognised as the governing body for basketball in Mexico, it was claimed.

A further request for postponement was allegedly presented to FIBA on last week, with the International Federation's ruling Executive Committee declaring this "not acceptable" in "view of the upcoming competitions in 2016".

This suspension further intensifies an escalating row over the amount of authority the Government has over the Mexican Olympic Committee (COM), with CONADE accused of giving money directly to athletes rather than through the federations.

But when warned of potential repercussions, Castillo dismissed the Olympic Charter as an "invention created to avoid monitoring public money" claiming that money is not being properly channeled to athletes who require it. 

He has said there are too many "rich Federation directors and poor athletes".

insidethegames revealed this week how International Olympic Committee (IOC) autonomy delegate Patrick Hickey wrote a letter to the COM warning them they face being suspended unless the situation is resolved.

Mexico hosted September's FIBA men's Americas Championships, reaching the semi-finals before losing to Argentina ©FIBA
Mexico hosted September's FIBA men's Americas Championships, reaching the semi-finals before losing to Argentina ©FIBA

FIBA claim to be following the IOC's approach. 

"In line with the International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s recommendations, FIBA's Executive Committee notes and supports the fact that the Mexican sport authorities seek to improve proper governance in national sport organisations," the body's statement explained.

"At the same time, however, FIBA's Executive Committee considers that the recognition process of ADEMEBA cannot be combined with the composition of the decisional bodies within ADEMEBA as suggested by CONADE.

"This is a clear interference in the autonomy of the national federation, causing unacceptable instability within ADEMEBA's structures and management.

"In addition, two organisations still exist in the country and allegedly act as the national governing bodies for basketball and a number of independent leagues operate in Mexico without proper coordination with and through a recognised national governing body.

"These elements not only violate the FIBA General Statutes but also prevent a healthy governance of the sport in the country, as highlighted in a number of administrative difficulties with other FIBA members and in the organisation of the FIBA Americas Championship in Mexico this summer."

This decision is now expected to stand until the institutional situation in Mexico permits ADEMEBA to function and manage its affairs autonomously, the statement concluded, with the "full recognition and support of all relevant national sport and state authorities".

The suspension placed on the Russian Basketball Federation (RBF) has been lifted with immediate effect, meanwhile, after the "very positive" responses of the Russians since their ban for alleged Government interference on July 29.

Russia suspension from FIBA has been lifted following a meeting of the governing body ©FIBA
Russia suspension from FIBA has been lifted following a meeting of the governing body ©FIBA

At a meeting of the FIBA Central Board in Tokyo in August, it was decided to allow Russia to participate in upcoming competitions, including the EuroBasket 2015 event in September, which served as a qualifier for next year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. 

A FIBA Task Force chaired by Central Board member Cyriel Coomans reported how "democratic and transparent" elections were held in which Andrei Kirilenko, a former NBA (National Basketball Association) player for Utah Jazz, Minnesota Timberwolves and the Brooklyn Nets, was elected President.

New statutes have also been adopted while the RBF's relationship with the VTB United League has been clarified through the signature of an Agreement whereby the RBF acts as the "sole governing body" for basketball in the world's largest country.

This means it is the "only body with the right to organise, supervise, endorse and/or assign the management of the Russian club competitions".

Related stories
November 2015: Exclusive: Mexico warned by IOC autonomy tsar they could be suspended from Rio 2016
November 2015: Mexican Olympic Committee accused of "blackmailing" Government by claiming they could be banned from Olympics
November 2015: Sanctions against Russian Basketball to be lifted by FIBA in January, reports claim