Athletes with intellectual disabilities will continue to be excluded from major events sanctioned by the International Paralympic Committee.
Learning disability athletes missed out on the Athens Paralympics
The IPC's governing board announced the decision in Lausanne on Tuesday after several months of deliberation.
It accepted research findings which concluded that a fool-proof eligibility system has yet to be developed.
The ruling means athletes with an intellectual disability cannot compete in the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.
The research also concluded that the general eligibility system developed by the International Sports Federation for Persons with an Intellectual Disability (INAS-FID) did not achieve the standard expected for IPC competitions.
The row over intellectual disability erupted at the Sydney Paralympics when it was found that most of the members of the victorious Spanish basketball team were not disabled.
But Tracey McCillen, National Director of the UK Sports Association for People with Learning Disability, says the IPC's decision is disappointing.
"Reaction to this decision has been strong. Listening to the anger and disbelief of athletes, parents and coaches as they try to come to terms with this decision makes you understand just how tragic this situation really is," she said.
"The UKSA Board of Directors need to digest and evaluate the full impact of the events at their July meeting and decisions will then be taken on the most appropriate course of action."