Learning disability ban lifted for 2012 Paralympics

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The Independent Online

Officials of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) have voted to allow athletes with learning disabilities to compete again at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

The IPC general assembly gathering in Kuala Lumpur agreed Saturday to lift the ban which has been in place since the 2000 Sydney Games when the Spanish paralympic basketball team revealed that some of its players were not disabled.

The Spanish basketball team was ordered to return its Olympic gold medal after an investigation proved only two out of 12 players on the team suffered from a mental handicap.

"Today’s achievement is the outcome of a unique and excellent co-operation between sports governance and the scientific community," IPC President Philip Craven said in a statement.

"I wish all intellectual disability athletes the best of success in their attempt to set world class performances at future competitions," he added.

The IPC said there will be tough measures put in place to prevent potential cheating including the need to submit medical files and on-site testing.

Their inclusion will not reduce the number of athletes from other classes in events at the games, it added.

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