Paralympics hopeful Annabelle Lindsay has been forced to retire from international wheelchair basketball after a rule change deemed her ineligible to compete.
The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation has changed its classification criteria to align with the International Paralympics Committee Rules.
All players in the 4.0 to 4.5 categories, the lowest impairment classes in wheelchair basketball, had their disabilities reviewed.
Lindsay is one of nine para-athletes deemed non-eligible under the new criteria, forcing her into retirement.
The 22-year-old Canberran had been preparing to make her Paralympics debut in Tokyo and said she was heartbroken on Instagram.
"This is a heart breaking way for my basketball career to end but due to the new classification rules being enforced by the International Paralympic Committee, my disability has now been deemed ineligible," Lindsay said.
"Though this is gut wrenching and disappointing to say the least, I am so grateful for everything wheelchair basketball has brought into my life."
Lindsay was an elite junior and played with the Canberra Capitals Academy in the SEABL competition as an able-bodied athlete.
She dislocated her knee at training in 2016 and was unable to recover after surgery.
She had arthritis and almost no cartilage left in her knee, leaving her unable to play able-bodied basketball.
Lindsay has since played wheelchair basketball and helped the Australian women's team, the Gliders, qualify for the Tokyo Paralympics.
But now the chance to fulfill her Paralympics dream and make her debut has been shattered.
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"To my Australian Gliders, I am guttered that I won't be heading to the Tokyo Paralympics with you but getting to be your teammate and wearing that Australian jersey has been one of my proudest achievements," Lindsay said.
"I can't wait to embrace my new role of being your [No.1] fan.
"To the wheelchair basketball/Paralympics community, thank you for embracing me with open arms and showing me the world through a wider lens. Even in this new stage of my life, I will continue to be an advocate for people with disabilities and Paralympic sport."
British wheelchair basketballer George Bates has launched a petition urging the International Paralympic Committee to review the classification system.
Bates has also been deemed non-eligible under the new criteria and said he would take legal action against the peak sporting body.
The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation released a statement saying they would support athletes who have been affected by the reclassification.
"IWBF understand the bearing this will have on any players who are ruled non-eligible," the statement read.
"We are working with NOWB's to support any player impacted by the reassessment process and put mechanisms in place that they can continue to play the game of wheelchair basketball.
"A player who has been deemed non-eligible has not cheated the system or intentionally misrepresented in anyway."