Esporte Paralympic gold medallist Brasil loses legal challenge against reclassification
Seven time Paralympic swimming champion Andre Brasil’s career appears to be over after he lost his legal challenge against his reclassification by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
The Cologne Regional Court found in favour of the IPC, which reclassified Brasil as ineligible to compete in the S10 category back in 2019.
In a statement, the Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB) described Brasil’s change in classification as “one of the saddest episodes in the history of global Paralympics.”
According to SwimSwam, Brasil and his legal team had argued the decision which led to his reclassification was flawed and did not take into account an independent study they provided.
Alexander Engelhard, a sports lawyer from the German law firm Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein who represented Brasil and the CPB in the case, claimed he missed the eligibility ranking by a single point.
Engelhard told SwimSwam Brasil was given a score of 286 – one outside of the 266-285 needed to be classified as S10.
Globo Esporte reported the 36-year-old, a 14-time Paralympic medallist, has no feeling in his left leg and one of his legs is five inches shorter than the other owing to him having polio as a child.
The Brazilian is a 14-time Paralympic medallist, a haul that includes seven golds ©Getty Images”They killed my dreams,” Brasil told Globo.
“There are many questions that stop [on my mind] and I’m still thinking: ‘what sport is this, man, that excludes a person who – notoriously – has a disability?’
“Who lived for almost fifteen years in this movement and who suddenly cannot more?
“What did I do wrong?
“Because that will not change.
“It’s not goodbye and at some point I’ll be back.”
Brasil, also a three-time world champion, was reclassified following a system change ordered by World Para Swimming in response to several cases of intentional misrepresentation – when an athlete tries to make their impairment seem more severe in order to be placed in a more favourable class.
“The CPB considers that the change in the classification process, implemented in mid-2018 by the IPC, of which Andre Brasil was one of the victims, was not followed by science or research,” the CPB said in a statement.
“In addition to bringing imbalance, it changed the order of the Paralympic classes, occurred mid-cycle, already half of the preparation for the Tokyo Games underway, it has affected the system brutally.”