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IOC denies 3-on-3 basketball for 2016 Olympics

The International Olympic Committee decided in a ruling last month that 3-on-3 basketball will not be part of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

According to USA Today, FIBA, the world governing body of basketball, made a strong push and official application to make it an Olympic discipline, but the IOC's executive board ruled 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. At a later stage, the IOC will study the quota-neutral requests already made by IFs for either a swap of event or modifications of competition format."

"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," FIBA said in a statement. "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 modernize the summer program. We are very thankful to Rio 2016 for their continued support in our efforts for the inclusion of 3x3."

The IOC also declined FIBA's request to increase the number of basketball teams in the Olympics from 12 to 16. FIBA wanted to add more teams but limit the number of games played. Had the request been accepted, four groups of four teams would play three preliminary games rather than have two groups of six with five preliminary games.

The request was used as a compromise to those wanting a 23-and-under age restriction for the men's competition. FIBA had received complaints from professional basketball leagues around the world, including the NBA, that the Olympic competition was too long and taking a toll on all of the players involved.

Despite the IOC's denial, FIBA will hold the 3-on-3 world championship in Moscow in June 2014 and will continue its efforts to make it part of the Olympics.