Fury at ban on Down's skater
Tuesday 27 April 1999
Mauro Muscas, aged 17, from Sardinia, finished third in the regional rollerskating championships earlier this month, and his club wanted him to continue in qualifiers for the national championship. But despite doctors' certificates proving he is physically up to the task, Mauro has been told he can no longer take part in any competitive skating events because of his intellectual disability.
The current law prohibits mentally disabled people from practising competitive sport except in events reserved for athletes with handicaps. Mauro, who is in his third year of high school in Cagliari, is a natural sportsman. He first took up skating at the age of nine, and spends every spare moment at the rink. The news that he could not go to the national championships has left him perplexed and sad.
Mauro's mother, Antonietta, vowed she would fight for her son's right to fair treatment. "If this is the law, it can be changed. Mauro was penalised at birth by having an extra chromosome but he should not be further discriminated against," she said.
"Thanks to sport Mauro's condition has improved tremendously and when he skates he forgets that he has Down's syndrome. Until now he has always measured himself against other `normal' sportsmen so why should that change just because he is having success?"
The 1978 law appears to have been passed with the aim of protecting people with mental handicaps from the potential psychological hazards of competitive sport.
Italy's Health Minister, Rosy Bindi, has promised to review the legislation to remove any aspects that could be anachronistic or discriminatory against those with disabilities.
- 4 Alex Salmond: 'The rocks would melt with the sun before I'd ever set foot in the House of Lords'
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...