(CNN)British wheelchair basketball athlete George Bates has said he is considering having his leg amputated after a rule change left him ineligible to play for Great Britain.
Wheelchair basketball player considers leg amputation after rule change
The 26-year-old Bates, who is from Leicester, England, would have been likely to represent GB at the Paralympics in Japan in 2021, but the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has deemed his disability does not meet its eligibility categories.
He has represented GB at the World and European Championships, helping Team GB secure gold and silver medals.
Bates was injured while playing football at the age of 11 and subsequently developed complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), which has left him walking with the use of a crutch and leaves him in constant pain.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke says CRPS is a chronic pain condition "believed to be caused by damage to, or malfunction of, the peripheral and central nervous systems.
Bates, who was discovered wheelchair basketball when he was 13, was told on Tuesday that his disability does not meet its strict criteria for competing in international games -- a decision that he is appealing.
He said he is considering having his own leg amputated to be able to compete and claimed on Twitter he would take legal action against the body.
The IPC reviewed its classification criteria in 2015 to include just 10 eligible disability categories. At the time the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) adhered to its own, separate criteria -- which did include Bates' condition.
However, an IWBF spokeswoman told CNN it has now brought its own rules in line with the IPC following, she claimed, pressure from the body and did so "with great sadness."
CNN has reached out to the IPC for comment.
Speaking to the BBC's "Today" program on Thursday, Bates said: "The IPC have forced the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation to change their classification code.
"They basically want every disability ... to fit into a small 10 point category and if you're not in any of those points then you're deemed as ineligible, even if they acknowledge that you do have a disability, which is kind of what's happened in my case."
The IPC, he said, had acknowledged he had CRPS and that it had long lasting effects on