• 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

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
Spain's 'indignant' party closing in on PSOE: poll
Some 21.2 percent of voters would vote for the nine-month-old Podemos party headed up by Pablo Iglesias, the Sigma Dos poll shows. Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP

Spain's 'indignant' party closing in on PSOE: poll

Spain's new left-wing Podemos party is hot on the heels of the country's main opposition socialist PSOE party with a new poll showing that more than one in five voters would vote for the party in general elections. READ  

Magaluf police chief charged over corruption
the claimants presented proof of extortion by policemen and Calvià Town Hall civil servants at Mallorca’s public prosecutor’s office on Friday. Photo: Jaime Reina/AFP

Magaluf police chief charged over corruption

The head of Calvià police on the holiday island of Majorca has been arrested following corruption claims filed by businessmen and bar owners in the notorious binge drinking hotspot of Magaluf. READ  

Ashya King
Parents of brain tumour boy face Madrid court
Spanish policemen stand guard as a police van carrying the parents of Ashya King arrives at the courthouse in Madrid on Monday. Photo: Javier Soriano/AFP

Parents of brain tumour boy face Madrid court

UPDATED: The parents of British boy Ashya King, who was taken out of hospital in Britain without medical consent, have seen their period of detention extended after appearing before a Spanish judge on Monday for an extradition hearing. READ  

Brain drain
Spain's brain drain 'worst in Western Europe'

Spain's brain drain 'worst in Western Europe'

Spain is among the European countries hardest hit by the so-called 'brain drain' effect with thousands of professionals including nurses and teachers taking steps to leave the country in recent years, new figures from the European Union show. READ  

Lamp post electrocutes urinating teenager
The victim collapsed from the shock and hit his head on the groundPhoto of lammpost and wiring: Shutterstock

Lamp post electrocutes urinating teenager

An 18-year-old man from the Spanish island of Majorca received a fatal electric shock on Saturday when he leaned against a lamp post while urinating. READ  

JobTalk Spain
Office slang: Top ten Spanish expressions
Are you enchufado (plugged in) at your workplace? Photo of rich man: Shutterstock

Office slang: Top ten Spanish expressions

With the summer holidays now over for most people in Spain, The Local has put together some of the most common and useful slang expressions used in Spanish workplaces to help ease the pain of the return to work. READ  

Man kills 'mother-in-law' while on prison leave
When police arrived at the victims’ address in the Madrid municipality of Arganda del Rey, the attacker was still there. Photo: Manuel M V/Flickr

Man kills 'mother-in-law' while on prison leave

A Madrid man stabbed his girlfriend's mother to death and seriously injured his partner while on a four-day prison leave on Saturday. READ  

EU politics
Economy minister faces long wait over EU job
Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos attends a G5 ministers meeting press conference about fraud and tax evasion at the French Economy Ministry in Paris in April. Photo: Eric Piermont/AFP

Economy minister faces long wait over EU job

Spain's economy minister Luis de Guindos, widely tipped by many to become the next leader of the Eurogroup forum of eurozone finance ministers, may have to wait for up to a year before he finds out if he has landed the role. READ  

Ashya King
'We only wanted best treatment for our son'
The hospital in Malaga where five-year-old British boy with a brain tumour, Ashya King, was placed after Spanish police located and arrested his parents late on Saturday. Photo: Marcos Moreno/AFP

'We only wanted best treatment for our son'

The arrested parents of a five-year-old British boy with a brain tumour who was taken from hospital without medical consent and found in Spain say they were simply looking for a proton therapy not offered by the UK health system. READ  

CaixaBank buys Barclays Spain for €800 million
Photo: Andrew Cowie/AFP

CaixaBank buys Barclays Spain for €800 million

Spain's third-biggest bank by capitalization CaixaBank is to buy Barclays' Spanish operations for €800 million ($1.1 billion) as the British bank undergoes major restructuring, Barclays said on Sunday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sport
Ten things you need to know about Spain's La Liga
Opinion
Is tourism destroying Barcelona?
Society
Fashion fail: Zara pulls plug on 'Holocaust shirt' for kids
National
Man hurt as friend swaps ice bucket for plane
Spain 'would block independent Scotland from joining EU'
Politics
Spain 'would block independent Scotland from joining EU'
International
Spanish police mistake Morocco's king for people smuggler
What's On
What's on in Spain: September
Society
Miss Spain comes out of closet on Instagram
Travel
Top ten: Spain's best natural swimming pools
Property
'Dying' town flogs off land for €200 to woo new blood
National
Gays to blame for Spain's trillion euro debt: senator
Society
Spain's anti-rape guidelines: 1) Close your curtains
National
Woman on Madrid plane had 1.7kg coke in breasts
Health
'Spain's hospitals aren't ready for Ebola'
Travel
Twelve things tourists do that annoy Spaniards
National
Swiss sex tourists slapped with seatbelt fine
Features
Top ten 'English' words made in Spain: Part 2
International
'I hate the black man in the White House'
Travel
Top 10: Spanish tourist traps you should avoid
National
127 kg of cocaine found on navy training ship
National
Spain's 14-year-old jihadist girl locked up
International
Fox News names Penelope Cruz 'idiot of the week'
International
Spain pulls plug on weapons sales to Israel
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

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 Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

1,633
jobs available