Australian Canoeing has urged the sport's governing body to address the lack of women's events on its Olympic program or risk being thrown out of future games.
President and Barcelona silver medallist, Danielle Woodward, told the International Canoe Federation by letter this week it needed to act quickly to include at least one more event for female athletes on its Rio 2016 program.
Australian Canoeing has been lobbying to have the C1 slalom event added to Rio, but such an action would require the sport's governing body to drop a male event.
Woodward says which men's event should be dropped is a matter for the ICF, but says canoeing was given a warning about gender imbalance in the recent discussions about which sports should remain on the Olympic schedule.
"Many of you will be in support of considering the issue of gender imbalance, certainly having regard to the real connection between this issue and wrestling, where gender imbalance contributed to its potential demise," Woodward wrote.
"We are concerned that our sport faces a similar threat and believe the reason canoeing was recently at risk (where it was placed in the bottom five sports by the IOC) was precisely due to the issue of gender imbalance."
Currently only one of four events in canoe slalom is available for women. Australian Canoeing acknowledges it has very strong medal prospects in the women's C1 slalom, but has urged the ICF to see this as a bigger issue.
"We are strong believers that this change will be in the interest of the sport as a whole moving forward," Woodward said.
"Obviously we have a vested interest, but that is not the point. Our feeling is that the whole sport is at risk because of the lack of opportunities for women and now is the time to change this", she said.
There is plenty of precedent for this type of change three years out from the Games, when it is in the interest of a sport.
In 2009 canoeing added K1 women's 200m event to the London 2012 program in a last minute change and cycling, amongst others, addressed imbalances with great success ahead of the London Games.
Australia's Jess Fox won two out of three recent ICF World Cups in the C1 event, but believes making this change is more about what the sporting world stands for in 2013.
"Of course, we have a strong national interest in this event where our athletes perform well, thanks to our government's support," Fox said.
"But this is not about one athlete or one nation, this is about the world we live in and the values we stand for and subscribe to in sport under the Olympic charter and within our own federations.
"I am proud of the way Australian Canoeing and the Australian Olympic Committee are strongly behind women in sport and I just wish other countries were the same. Many athletes are not able to compete in the C1W because a lack of support from their federations. The ICF can change this."