How the International Paralympics Committee stripped off medals from two Paralympic athletes
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(Paralympic news) Many Para athletes have won medals and brought glory for their countries in the Tokyo 2020 edition. The Olympics committee have made a few controversial decisions by stripping medals off two para athletes.
Indian para athlete discus thrower Vinod Kumar won the bronze medal in the men's F -51/52 discus throw breaking the Asian record in the process. The IPC reviewed the classification of Vinod Kumar as the F52 classification is for athletes with impaired muscle power, restricted range of movement, limb deficiency or leg length difference, with athletes competing in seated position. It also applies to cervical cord injury, spinal cord injury, amputation, and functional disorder.
"The panel was unable to allocate the athlete Vinod Kumar from NPC India with a sport class and the athlete was designated as Classification not Completed (CNC)," the organisers said in a statement. The athlete is therefore ineligible for the Men's F52 Discus medal event and his results in that competition are void," it added.
The real question is why didn't the organizers check Kumar's eligibility before the event started. Kumar was evaluated on August 22 and cleared to compete in the F52 category at the time. According to the World Para Athletics database, Kumar’s classification status for the current year was already under review. Whether the athlete was aware of this, or if the Paralympics Committee of India (PCI) made him aware, is not clear.
Another case happened with Malaysian shot putter Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli. The F20 class Para Athlete won the gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, but right before the event started Zolkefli along with two others failed to report on time. Officials said that they were allowed to compete under protest.
A IPC spokesperson said "They were late, they may have had a logical reason for being late, and therefore we allowed them to compete and look at the facts of the matter afterward," After a meeting Zolkefli was disqualified for not having a justifiable reason for his lateness. An appeal from the Malaysian was also denied.
In the Zolkefli case, the IPC looks to have handled it the best way they could have if their version is the truth. While Vinod Kumar can count himself unlucky with the events that have unfolded. There hasn't been an official statement from the Indian athlete or the committee. Only after that can a conclusion be made.