Indian para-athlete Vinod Kumar has been suspended for two years for ‘intentional misrepresentation’ of his abilities. Kumar had won the bronze medal in the discus throw event in the F52 category at the Tokyo Paralympics last August.
The Indian athlete was accused of cheating by the World Para Athletics as they released a statement on their website. Their statement talked about how the Board of Appeal of Classification (BAC) has imposed a two-year sanction that will make Kumar ineligible to compete in para-athletics competitions until August 2023.
The statement released by the World Para Athletics said, “The World Para Athletics commenced disciplinary proceedings with the BAC after Kumar intentionally misrepresented his abilities when he presented for classification at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.”
“Under the World Para Athletics Classification Rules and Regulations, it is a disciplinary offence for an athlete to intentionally misrepresent their skills or abilities and/or the degree or nature of their impairment. It is also a disciplinary offence for any athlete support person to assist, conceal or be complicit in any Intentional Misrepresentation by an athlete,” the statement continued.
Managing Director of World Para Sports Christian Holtz also commented on the issue and said, “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.”
In Tokyo, Kumar had produced a throw of 19.91m to finish third after Piotr Kosewicz (20.02m) of Poland and Velimir Sandor (19.98m) of Croatia. Soon after the event, the results were put under review. Then one day later, the results were amended.
Kumar was found to be objectionable for the men’s F52 discus medal as the classification panel was ‘unable to allocate’ him in a ‘sport class’ after observation and re-assessment, the Games’ technical delegates stated. Due to this, Kumar failed to win a medal.
Notably, athletes who are eligible to take part in the F52 category have good shoulder and upper body control but tend to lack motor skills in their arms and hands along with no or limited trunk and leg function.