Mexican basketball suspended by FIBA; Olympics in jeopardy
MEXICO CITY (AP) The Mexican basketball federation was suspended by world governing body FIBA on Friday because of the national government's interference in how the sport is run.
Mexico hopes to qualify for the Olympics in a playoff next year, but will be banned from competing if the sanction stays in place.
The move comes as Mexico's entire participation in next year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro is in question. That stems from a conflict between the government and several national sport federations, which are facing an inspection by a government agency to see how money is spent.
The International Olympic Committee opposes political interference in national sports bodies and recently suspended Kuwait from the Olympics.
FIBA said the suspension will stand until the Mexican federation is permitted to ''function and manage its affairs autonomously, with the full recognition and support of all relevant national sport and state authorities.''
The Mexico issue will be reviewed by the IOC executive board in meetings Dec. 8-10 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Carlos Padilla Becerra, president of Mexico's national Olympic committee, has said it would be ''a tragedy'' if Mexico is ruled out of the games.
However, Alfredo Castillo, head of Mexico's National Commission of Physical Culture and Sports, has been critical of the IOC rules, calling them ''the best invention that has been created to avoid monitoring of how public money is spent.''