2000 paralympic Spanish basketball team scandals

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Who would have thought there will be scandals in the Paralympics? yes there was and this is disgraceful and disappointing to those who were in involved.

In the 2000 Paralympics the Spanish basketball team were involve in scandals and this was discovered after they won the gold medal in the tournament.

What is Paralympic Games?

The Paralympic Games or Paralympics, also known as the Games of the Paralympiad, is a periodic series of international multisport events involving athletes with a range of physical disabilities, including impaired muscle power and impaired passive range of movement, limb deficiency, leg length difference, short stature, hypertonia, ataxia, athetosis, vision impairment and intellectual impairment.

A female athlete on a sit-ski competes at the World Para Snow Sports Championships

There are Winter and Summer Paralympic Games, which since the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, are held almost immediately following the respective Olympic Games. All Paralympic Games are governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

The Paralympic Games are organized in parallel and in a similar way with the Olympic Games, while the IOC-recognized Special Olympics World Games include athletes with intellectual disabilities (although since 1992, intellectually disabled people also participate in the Paralympic Games), and the Deaflympics held since 1924 and are exclusive for deaf athletes.

Given the wide variety of disabilities that Para athletes have, there are several categories in which the athletes compete. The allowable disabilities are broken down into ten eligible impairment types. The categories are impaired muscle power, impaired passive range of movement, limb deficiency, leg length difference, short stature, hypertonia, ataxia, athetosis, vision impairment and intellectual impairment. These categories are further broken down into various classifications.

The Paralympic game scandal!!!

The Basketball ID event at the 2000 Paralympic Games were marred by one of sport’s biggest controversies which saw a classification of athlete removed from the next two Paralympic games. Fernando Martin Vicente, former head of the Spanish Federation for Mentally Handicapped Sports, allowed athletes with no disabilities to compete at the Games in order to win the gold medal.

The team at the centre of the row was the Spanish basketball team, who won the gold medal after beating Russia in the final despite fielding a team mainly composed of athletes with no intellectual disability. The athletes were quickly exposed and the IPC reacted by stripping Spain of their medal and removing all events from the following Games for athletes with intellectual disabilities. Events for athletes with intellectual disabilities returned to the Paralympic schedule in 2012.

Spain originally won the gold medal, but they were disqualified after it was discovered that ten of the team’s twelve players were not disabled.

As a consequence of this decision, official results indicate that no gold medal was awarded for this event: Thomas Reinecke, the Chief Operating Officer of the International Paralympic Committee at the time, stated in an interview with the BBC in 2021 that the silver medalists, Russia, were not awarded the gold medal because they failed to provide evidence regarding the classification of its own team.



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