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Reverse swimmer's Paralympic ban, say readers

Categories: Community, Sports


Victoria Arlen reacts after swimming in the women's 400-meter freestyle at last year's Paralympic Games. (AP Photo)

A teenage Paralympian banned from competing in this week's swimming championships has been done an injustice that must be reversed, according to CBC readers commenting on the news.

What's more, readers suggest the International Paralympic Committee should revisit its policy to make sure such "twisting of rules" does not happen again.

Swimmer Victoria Arlen's medical records "failed to provide conclusive evidence of a permanent eligible impairment," the IPC decided before stopping the 18-year-old from participating in the Paralympic World Swimming Championships in Montreal this week. 

The decision weighed on one doctor's assessment of Arlen, which said she "may" walk again one day if she received years of therapy and physical treatment.

"Please don't let speculation (even from a doctor) ruin this girl's chances in the competition. Very sad twisting of the rules," wrote Jazz Baby.

Another commenter, Injustice, summed it up this way: "Using that logic, with four years of intensive university work, I could have a PhD."

Instead, the IPC should determine whether or not someone can compete at the time of competition, not based on what could happen in the future, suggested Leonard33.

Due to advancements in spinal cord and other medical research, "all disabled people might be able to walk someday," added 123noitall. "What then? Ban everyone?"

While most of the comments supported Arlen's right to compete, others were more cut and dry about the IPC's ruling.

"Better get going with that therapy, then," wrote Chief Cynic.

"Five experts reviewed her case and all came to the same conclusion. Seems to me like the IPC has covered their bases and given this athlete and her family due process," wrote the man D.

"If they don't agree with her medical assessment I'm sure there is a way for them to have a second opinion done which would be sanctioned by the IPC. A tough situation for her, but it doesn't sound like it's totally unreasonable."

As always, we thank you for following our coverage and offering your opinions. We invite readers to continue the conversation below.

Tags: Community, Community Reaction, Sports

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