POSTED: Saturday November 21st 2009

IPC Decides on Participation of Athletes with Intellectual Disability

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - During the International Paralympic Committee
(IPC) General Assembly in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the IPC membership
today decided in favour of the re-inclusion of athletes with
intellectual disability (ID athletes) in competitions, including the
Paralympic Games.

Said IPC President Sir Philip Craven: “Today’s achievement is the
outcome of a unique and excellent co-operation between sports
governance and the scientific community. I want to thank all parties
involved, especially the scientists, for their contribution and
commitment over the last two years”.

“I wish all ID athletes the best of success in their attempt to set
world class performances at future competitions,” he continued.

This decision opens the participation of ID athletes in Paralympic
Sport in a two-step process. At first, the procedure of classification
will require the submission of the appropriate medical files to the
INAS-FID International Eligibility Committee for review. Once an
application is approved by this Committee, INAS-FID will issue a letter
to the athlete stating the athlete is found ‘eligible’ and is allowed
to proceed to the next step of the classification process. The athlete
then will proceed to on-site testing by a classification panel,
appointed by the International Federation which governs that sport. The
on-site testing will focus on ‘sports intelligence’, and will include
tests relevant to that particular sport.

Test scores will be evaluated against sport-specific minimal disability
scores and the athlete will be allocated the sport class that applies
to ID athletes in a particular sport.

As of this autumn, no sport-specific minimal disability scores are
available yet. This requires the full analysis of all data collected
from the 2009 INAS-FID Global Games and other competitions, and it is
expected that criteria will be made available mid 2010.

It is guaranteed that the ID Athlete Classification System is developed
in accordance with the IPC Classification Code, has an evidence-based
methodology, and thus strengthens the decisions on the right for ID
athletes to be included in a particular sport.

As a consequence, ID athletes will from now on be eligible to compete
at the discretion of the International Federation being operationally
ready with the classification system. Paralympic sports that target the
inclusion of ID athletes in future competitions, should extend their
classification system on the basis of the above mentioned model.

The President of INAS-FID, Bob Price, said: “Naturally, I am delighted
with the outcome of the vote. 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. I am hugely grateful to the Joint Working Group and its
associated research teams and I look forward to seeing ID athletes
competing on the world’s stage in London in 2012,” Mr. Price commented.

The decision on the events to be included in a competition will be made
in accordance with the set forth provisions. This is for the
determination of that competition’s medal events and the respective
qualification criteria, which is no different than any other event for
any athlete. The inclusion of ID athletes will not reduce the number of
athletes from other classes in events at the London 2012 Paralympic


Notes to the Editor:

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing
body of the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Summer and
Winter Paralympic Games, and serves as the International Federation for
nine sports, for which it supervises and co-ordinates the World
Championships and other competitions. The IPC is committed to enabling
Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and to developing
sport opportunities for all persons with a disability from the beginner
to elite level. In addition, the IPC aims to promote the Paralympic
values, which include courage, determination, inspiration and equality.

Founded on 22 September 1989, the IPC is an international non-profit
organization formed and run by 162 National Paralympic Committees
(NPCs) from five regions and four disability specific international
sports federations (IOSDs). The IPC Headquarters and its management
team are located in Bonn, Germany.

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Keywords · IPC · paralympics · Sir Philip Craven

Name: Steffi Klein
Organization: International Paralympic Committee
Phone: +49-228-2097-200

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