iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Intellectual Disabilities: Back In The Fold

Play now 18 mins

Intellectual Disabilities: Back In The Fold

18 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 20 August 2012

Athletes with intellectual disabilities have been banished from the Paralympics for the past 12 years following cheating by the Spanish.

At the Sydney Games in 2000, Spain fielded a basketball team who pretended to have learning disabilities and then won the gold medal.

When the scandal was uncovered, all athletes with genuine learning disabilities were excluded from future Paralympic Games while the rules were tightened.

For the London Paralympics this summer, the exclusion order has finally been lifted and Claudia Hammond reports from Sweden as their elite Paralympians complete last-minute training schedules before flying to London, to compete in athletics, swimming and table tennis.

She hears about the complex and rigorous new classification system designed to satisfy concerns that athletes competing do have genuine intellectual disabilities and hears about the anger of world-class sportspeople who were denied access to Olympic events.

(Image: Jeffrey Ige, Swedish shot putter. Image by Claudia Hammond)

  • BBC Disability Sport

    BBC Disability Sport

    The BBC's homepage for all disability sport

    See the homepage
  • How the Paralympics checks intellectual disability

    How the Paralympics checks intellectual disability

    "A year before Athens they told us that we couldn't really participate. I was at my highest level then, I could have taken a medal if I'd had a chance to compete. I was really sad and upset"

    Read more on the BBC News website


  1. Image for Documentaries


    An indepth look at stories and issues from around the world. This podcast offers you the chance to…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss