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Olympic Games: Beijing Paralympics

Volume 694: debated on Wednesday 18 July 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will help Tom Cole of Sudbury, Suffolk, a multiple international medal-winning Down's syndrome swimmer, to have his case for participating in the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games reviewed; and, if so, what the outcome has been. [HL4756]

The decision on the participation of athletes with an intellectual disability in the Paralympic Games resides with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). We understand that the IPC will review the eligibility criteria for athletes with learning disabilities after the 2008 Games in Beijing.

The Government are not, therefore, in a position to review individual cases. However, they are sympathetic to the case of people with learning disabilities participating in the Games, and have expressed this view in writing to the IPC, encouraging it to establish a rigorous and robust eligibility system as a matter of priority.