The Board of Appeal of Classification (BAC) has imposed a two-year sanction on Paralympian discus thrower Vinod Kumar, forcing him to sit out of all the competitions until August 2023.
This disciplinary action has been taken in connection with the objections from fellow athletes at the Tokyo Paralympics related to his disability classification assessment, terming it an offence of 'Intentional Misrepresentation'.
Addressing the entire fiasco, Christian Holtz, Managing Director of World Para Sports, said (as quoted by ANI):
"Intentional Misrepresentation is a very serious offence and athletes are required to give their best effort when presenting to a classification panel. The classification system is crucial to ensure fair competition and this case shows how committed World Para Athletics is to protect the integrity of the sport."
Why did Vinod Kumar lose his 2021 Tokyo Paralympics bronze medal?
Discus thrower Vinod Kumar was placed in the F52 category. The 41-year-old finished third behind Piotr Kosewicz (20.02m) of Poland and Velimir Sandor (19.98m) of Croatia.
Vinod had bagged a bronze medal at the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics with a 19.91m throw on August 29, 2021.
However, he was disqualified after his fellow competitors challenged his classification.
A review of eligibility led to the invalidation of his medal, with organisers saying that they were “unable to allocate the athlete saying that he was designated as "Classification not Completed (CNC)".
Technical Delegates at the Paralympics in a statement said:
“The athlete is therefore ineligible for the Men’s F52 discus medal event and his results in that competition are void."
The F52 category is for athletes with impaired muscle power, restricted range of movement, limb deficiency, or leg length differences. Athletes compete in seated positions with cervical cord injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, and functional disorders.
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