PAR­A­LYMPIC SCAN­DAL

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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

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