• Spain edition
 
Fake paralympians escape cheating charges
Members of Spain's 2000 Summer Paralympics basketball team: it was latest discovered Screen grab: YouTube

Fake paralympians escape cheating charges

Published: 07 Oct 2013 16:18 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 Oct 2013 16:18 GMT+02:00

The man who was responsible for sending a team of 'fake' disabled basketball players to the Sydney Paralympic Games has been fined — 13 years after the fact.

It was one of sport's greatest ever scandals: in the year 2000, Spain's mentally disabled basketball team won Gold at the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney.

The problem was that only two of the twelve players actually had a mental disability.

The lid was lifted on the deceit when Spanish undercover journalist Carlos Ribagorda published an exposé on how the team had cheated.

Ribagorda, who had secretly signed on as a member of the winning team, revealed that Spain's Spanish Paralympic Committee had never tested the players for the mental disability.

"The federation (Spanish Federation for Mentally Handicapped Sports (Feddi) didn't hesitate in signing up athletes without any type of handicap," the journalist wrote in Spain's Capital magazine.

"They just sent them an official letter - the aim of this policy was to win medals and gain more sponsorship."

After the revelations were published, the Sydney 2000 gold-winning medal team had its medal stripped and Russia was awarded the medal.

At the time, Fernando Martin Vicente said the allegations were not true, but he later apologized for the incident.

Now, 13 years later, Martín Vicente is finally receiving official punishment — on Monday he was fined a total of €5,400 ($7320).

The ex-president of Feddi has also paid back €142,355 in subsidies the organization received by signing on 'false' disabled athletes.

Charges against the other 18 people named in the investigation were dropped.

George Mills (george.mills@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Punches thrown during packed Easter parade
The aged victim of the attack received emergency treatment after the incident. Screen grab: 8 Andalusia

Punches thrown during packed Easter parade

Holy Week celebrations in the Spanish city of Seville were marred by violence on Tuesday when a young man attacked an older man in a dispute over the best spot to watch a passing religious procession. READ () »

Spanish restaurant to be world's most expensive
Sublimotion will offer a “gastro-sensory” spectacle to the lucky dozen; including lights, sounds and levitating dinner plates. Photo: YouTube

Spanish restaurant to be world's most expensive

The Spanish party island of Ibiza will soon house the most expensive restaurant on the planet, where a meal for one will cost the (not so) lucky customer a staggering €1,500 ($2075). READ () »

Immigrants gatecrash 'forgotten' Spanish isle
Isabel II Island, with a military barracks that houses around 30 soldiers is the only one of the three Chafarinas Islands which is inhabited. Photo: Miguel González Novo

Immigrants gatecrash 'forgotten' Spanish isle

Seven would-be immigrants arrived on the Spain's tiny Isla del Congresso on Monday, startling the small band of Spanish soldiers stationed on a neighbouring island. READ () »

Spain's 'corruption king' turns violent in prison
“I’m not a criminal,” Bárcenas shouted as he refused to be handcuffed behind his back, a requirement for prisoners travelling in Spain. Photo: YouTube & Pierre Phillipe Marcou/AFP

Spain's 'corruption king' turns violent in prison

The former treasurer of Spain's ruling Popular Party won't be allowed to walk the prison courtyard for nearly five months after directing insults at Civil Guard police officers and refusing to be handcuffed. READ () »

Catalan report is wrong on independence: EU
Young activists calling for independence for Catalonia take part in a 'human chain' on the region's national day on September 11, 2013. File photo: José Jordan/AFP

Catalan report is wrong on independence: EU

The European Union has once again said an independent Catalonia would be automatically left out of the EU, a day after lobby group for the region's government released a report arguing this would not be the case. READ () »

'Guantanamo Bay torture case still open': Judge
A US soldier walking next to the razor wire-topped fence at the abandoned "Camp X-Ray" detention facility at the US Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on April 9th. Photo: Mladen Antonov/AFP

'Guantanamo Bay torture case still open': Judge

A Spanish judge on Tuesday defied pressure to scrap a probe into alleged torture in the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay which targets former US president George W. Bush. READ () »

One in three Spanish kids 'at risk of poverty'
The number of under-18s in Spain "at risk of poverty or marginalization" soared to more than 2.8 million in 2012. Photo: Philippe Desmazes/AFP

One in three Spanish kids 'at risk of poverty'

The charity Save the Children launched a petition on Tuesday urging Spain to do more for deprived children in the crisis-hit country, where one in three minors lives at risk of poverty. READ () »

Man signs up as organ donor then kills himself
Police have found a video recording at his home address in which he allegedly explained the reasons for his suicide. Photo: Juan Carlos/AFP

Man signs up as organ donor then kills himself

A man in the Spanish city of Valencia shot himself in the head on Monday just moments after he'd asked two nurses at a local hospital to sign him up as an organ donor. READ () »

Independent Catalonia can stay in EU: Report
Catalan supporters display Esteladas (non-official Catalan independence flags) during the friendly football match Catalonia national team vs Cape Verde national team in Barcelona in December 2013. Fil

Independent Catalonia can stay in EU: Report

A "pragmatic" European Union is unlikely to eject Catalonia if it votes to part ways with the rest of Spain: that's the argument put forward in a new report by a team of pro-independence advisers to the region's government. READ () »

Expat Finances
Spanish tax returns: A handy expat guide

Spanish tax returns: A handy expat guide

Confused about Spanish tax returns? Don't stress: there's help at hand. The Local spoke recently Paul Greene of Spain Accountants to get the lowdown on who needs to file and what sort of deductions are available. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
'Monkey Jesus' restorer to star in music video
Culture
Seven surprising facts about Spain's Holy Week
National
Spanish tax office sells bras for extra cash
Society
Abortion Travel: 'The agency that should never exist'
National
Top expat moans about Spain on Twitter
Society
Email gaffe reveals how Spanish firms exploit young workers
National
Man hacks off own fingers in insurance scam
Travel & Tourism
Top ten: Spain's best beaches 2014
National
Lovemaking lands woman at bottom of well
International
Jobless Spaniards to be kicked out of Germany
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Health
Serial texter suffers first case of 'WhatsAppitis'
Politics
Six reasons why Suárez is Spain's best loved PM
Politics
'Energy giants out to kill off Spain's solar sector'
Society
Spain's hottest jobs 2014
National
Man dies while taking selfie on top of train
Society
Spanish PM turns down free English course
Travel & Tourism
Top Ten: Spain's coolest hotels 2014
Culture
A to Z of The Local's picture galleries
Culture
Scientists discover why some of us 'hate' music
Features
How Barcelona is getting it wrong on cannabis
National
'Spain could be a world leader in solar power'
Society
Could this Spanish Duchess claim the Scottish crown?
Society
Global 'British grub' map satisfies expat cravings
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

1,393
jobs available