A final decision on whether to include Para-bobsleigh in the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing has been deferred until September, it was revealed today.
The inclusion of Para-bobsleigh was provisionally approved by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in September 2016, but the sport's appearance in Beijing is now uncertain.
For bobsleigh to be given full approval for inclusion at Beijing 2022, the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) was told it must organise at least six World Cup races plus a World Championships in both the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 seasons.
The IBSF was also told a minimum of 12 countries from at least three regions should take part each year.
In the recent 2017-2018 season, however, only five World Cup events were held, in St Moritz, Oberhof, Innsbruck, Lake Placid and Calgary, while in the 2016-2017 season only three World Cup events took place.
It means the IBSF has not yet met the criteria necessary for inclusion.
The move to defer the decision on the sport's inclusion at the 2022 Winter Games was made during IPC meetings in Bonn.
During the meetings, the IPC's Governing Board also approved five competition venues proposed by Beijing 2022, as well as the use of three Paralympic Villages in different clusters.
If, come September, Para-bobsleigh is included in the Games, it will join six existing winter sports that are already included on the programme - Alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, Para-ice hockey, snowboard and wheelchair curling.
The IBSF's Para-sport Committee was founded in 2010 and immediately began working on acceptance of bobsleigh and skeleton on the programme of the Winter Paralympics.
In 2014, the IPC awarded the IBSF the status of Recognised International Sport Federation.
The first official IBSF Para-sport World Cup was held in the 2014-2015 season, while the first IBSF Para-sport World Championships took place in Park City in the United States in 2016.
When bobsleigh was provisionally approved, the application for skeleton to be included on the Paralympic programme was not successful due to the sport not fulfilling a number of the criteria needed.