Andrew Parsons, the International Paralympic Committee President, has strongly defended the IPC’s system of classification, insisting it is “fit for purpose”.
He has also criticised the way in which British Para-athletes such as sprinter Sophie Hahn have been accused of bending the rules during the recent wide-ranching debate occasioned by a Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport session on the subject.
“I am absolutely convinced that our classification system is fit for purpose,” he said during a day-long visit here as a guest of the Paris 2024 organisers, which saw him accompany the French Prime Minister, Edouard Phillipe, in watching Para-sport events taking place at the College Dora Maar in Saint-Denis.
“We have a very robust programme in place, although of course there is always room for improvement.
“I am aware of the debate that has recently being going on over this subject in the UK.
“But to have people saying that "the classification system is broken" is completely far from the truth.
“I don’t believe in that.
“We will always be open to investigating specific cases, whether they are raised by National Paralympic Committees or parents.
“But so far this year we have investigated more than 15 similar cases and in each one we have found that the system of classification had been correctly applied.
“To be honest I find it a little bit too much that people start publicly accusing athletes of misrepresenting their classification.
"I think it's really unfair for athletes to be accused in this way of cheating and abusing the system."