PARALYMPIANS are being told not to speak out about classification cheating, which is when para-athletes deliberately compete against others who are more disabled than they are to gain an unfair advantage.
The claim was made by Baroness Grey-Thompson, Britain’s 11-time Paralympic champion. She compared the scandal to Olympic athletes taking drugs to boost their performance. She said she has been told some Paralympians were not being honest about their disabilities.
The former wheelchair racer said that para-athletes were threatened with losing their place on teams if they spoke out against abuse of the Paralympic classification system.
Charlie Bethel, the former boss of British Wheelchair Basketball, has said that he was told “everyone was at it,” when he was asked about Paralympic classification cheats.
The International Paralympic Committee denies that athletes are deliberately competing in the wrong class. New rules on classification will come into force on 1 January 2018.
The Paralympic logo in London’s Olympic Park during the 2012 Games Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson