Game On For Paralympic Athletes With Intellectual Disabilities
Athletes with intellectual disabilities will be allowed to participate in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London following a vote of the International Paralympic Committee.
These athletes previously competed in the Paralympics, but were banned from the games after it was discovered that members of the Spanish basketball team at the 2000 games in Sydney lied about having intellectual disabilities.
In order to be readmitted to the games, a system had to be approved to determine who does and does not have an intellectual disability. Going forward, athletes will be required to submit medical files to an eligibility committee for review. If those are found to be satisfactory, the athlete will undergo on-site testing relevant to their sport.
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“Even though they themselves did nothing wrong, for nine years since Sydney 2000, ID athletes have been excluded from the Paralympic Games and other IPC sanctioned competitions. This resolution brings this unfortunate episode to an end and re-introduces ID athletes to their proper place within the Paralympic family,” said Bob Price, president of the International Sports Federation for People with an Intellectual Disability which is a member of the International Paralympic Committee.