Paralympics: Intellectual disability sports return in London

PARIS: Athletes with intellectual disabilities are competing at the Paralympics for the first time in 12 years, after an embarrassing scandal involving Spain's basketball team.

Three sports at the Games in the British capital are open to intellectual disability (ID) athletes -- athletics, swimming and table tennis -- following the introduction of stricter criteria for participation.

The categories were dropped for the last two Games in Athens and Beijing after 10 members of the gold-winning Spanish basketball team in Sydney in 2000 were told to hand back their medals because several players had no intellectual disability.

A journalist who played for the side claimed afterwards that "at least 15 of the 200-strong Spanish (Paralympics) team had no physical or mental handicap" and that many participating countries had also selected non-disabled athletes.

From:, 24 August 2012 0907