INAS-FID Eligibility System Unsatisfactory: Athletes with Intellectual Disability Cannot Participate in 2004 Paralympics
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Management Committee yesterday decided that events for intellectually disabled athletes will not be included in the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games.
This decision was taken because the revised system for testing athletes' eligibility submitted by the International Sports Federation for Persons with an Intellectual Disability (INAS-FID) did not meet the conditions required by the IPC.
The Athens 2004 Paralympic Games event programme was set in October 2002 in order to meet the timelines for the organisation of the Games. INAS-FID was granted an extended deadline of 31 January 2003 to meet the conditions set by the IPC 2001 General Assembly after several athletes were found guilty of cheating at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games by wrongly claiming to have an intellectual disability.
The IPC's conditions require athletes to present primary rather than secondary documentation of their eligibility, for INAS-FID to create and test a sport-specific eligibility system and for athletes with an intellectual disability to participate at Paralympic Games under the same protest rules as all other athletes. These conditions were fully accepted by INAS-FID in October 2002.
The IPC Management Committee recognized that some progress had been made by INAS-FID, especially with regard to the development of a more stringent verification procedure of documents that are to prove an athlete's intellectual disability. However, INAS-FID had fallen short of developing the sports specific component of its eligibility system and the development and implementation of protest procedures in line with the IPC policy.
Under these circumstances the IPC decided that events for athletes with an intellectual disability could not go ahead in a fair manner at the 2004 Athens Paralympics and that there was a risk of potential cheats.
"The IPC will continue supporting INAS-FID in its efforts to develop a new eligibility system and protest procedures which comply with the IPC's conditions,"
said IPC President Phil Craven today.