By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – One of Brazil’s biggest medalists in Paralympic games, swimmer André Brasil, has been reclassified and will be unable to participate in Paralympic competitions. A swimmer for the past 14 years in the S10 category, Brasil has received fourteen Paralympic medals.
“Indignation, revolt, sadness … A story erased in one day … we are treated as points in the classification and not as human beings. Is this what we call a Paralympic sport?” protested the swimmer on the decision through his social media.
Paralympic athletes are subject to periodic assessments to determine in which categories of sport should compete .
Brasil has been a swimmer in the S10 category (which brings together swimmers with a lower degree of disability), and had been scheduled to race in the International Open in São Paulo on Thursday (25th). The swimmer has a slight difference in the size of his legs due to side effect to the poliomyelitis vaccine he received when he was an infant.
Brasil had been fighting for a place in Brazil’s team for the ParaPan-American Games to be held in Lima, Peru in August.
According to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), in some cases athletes can be classified into different categories during the course of their career evaluations, due to an improvement of their physical condition. The criteria, says the entity, assesses the level of disability by giving points for the degrees of difficulty faced by the person due to their presented disabilities.
Brazil’s Paralympic Committee (CBP) also considered the new classification made by the IPC unfair. “The CPB is behind André Brasil and shares his frustration at being classified as ineligible,” read the statement issued by the entity.
According to the CBP, Brasil will not lose the medals he won in the past.
“We do not believe that his 14 years in the Paralympic Movement were a lie. We understand that he has been subjected to a great injustice and we will support him to restore equality and justice,” the organization said on social media.