Romanian disabled cyclist banned from Tokyo Olympics

An incredible case in Romanian sport: Theo Matecan, a 24-year-old Paralympic athlete, missed the 2021 Tokyo Olympics with a truly bizarre decision.

The reason is hallucinations: his access was blocked by the Romanian Paralympic Committee because he wanted to have a companion with him in Japan.

ProSport wrote that the cyclist, who also skates, would have needed someone at his side, as he could not put on or wear his shoes himself.

This claim is supported by his father, Soren Matekan.

A fine received by the National Paralympic Committee from CNCD! How was that with Theo Matekan?

The Board of Directors of the National Anti-Discrimination Council, meeting at a meeting to resolve the petitions on July 27, 2022, made the following decisions:

1. The statement by the President of the National Paralympic Committee, Sally Wood Lamont, to Paralympic athlete Theodore Matekan: “He will no longer participate until he proves to me that he knows how to skate (…)” constitutes an act of discrimination and violates the right to dignity, according to Art. 2 paragraph. (1) Art. 15 of OG 137/2000, republished.

The fine of 1,000 lei was applied to the head of the National Paralympic Committee. The resolution was adopted unanimously (7 votes).

2. Restriction of entry to the Tokyo 2021 Paralympic athlete by the National Paralympic Committee, by the National Paralympic Committee’s refusal of the National Paralympic Committee to provide a disabled athlete with a competition companion, is an act of discrimination in violation of the right of persons with disabilities to participate in sports competitions in accordance with Art. 2 paragraph. (1), (4) and (5) together with Article. 10 lit. h) from OG no. 137/2000, republished, Art. 6, lit. f) of Law 448/2006 on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Art. 30 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The fine of 10,000 lei was applied to the National Paralympic Committee. The resolution was adopted unanimously (7 votes).

3 – Displaying an advertisement/message in a public place, i.e. Lukoil gas station in Bungetu town, Dâmbovița province, where certain physiological characteristics of women are referred to in a derogatory/offensive manner towards women: “Sincerely, please do not replace tampons or OBs in Station buildings; shame on us for carrying the chaos.” It represents an act of discrimination and violates the right to dignity, according to Art. 2 paragraph. (1) Art. 15 of OG 137/2000, republished. The fine for the violation was applied to the Lukoil trading company in the amount of 5,000 lei. The resolution was adopted unanimously (7 votes).

What does Christian Jura say?

Christian Jura, Secretary of State for the National Anti-Discrimination Council and judge at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, gave details of this astonishing case at ProSport.

“It is unprecedented in the Romanian sports scene, this is the first time that the National AIDS Council has discovered discrimination against a disabled athlete even through the forum that should protect and promote the rights of people with disabilities in the field of sport, the Romanian National Paralympic Committee (CNPR). )

We found two distinctions. A woman president of CNPR made statements that affected the dignity of athlete Theo Matekan

It is reported that Theo Matekan will not compete again until he proves his ability to skate, in the context of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympic Games.

An athlete does not have to prove to the president of a federation that he knows how to play sports or not.

What did CNPR violate and what fine did it receive?

On the other hand, we have taken the decision to punish CNPR with a fine of 10,000 lei for violating several articles of national and international legislation. In practice, the National Council for Refugees has violated the government law on combating all forms of discrimination,

The Law on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

In practice, the National Council for the Disabled has remained passive and did not initiate the necessary steps for the participation of an athlete with a disability in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, which occurred due to the pandemic in 2021.

The fine is justified by the fact that the opportunities for athletes to participate in the Olympics are, of course, limited by time and age, and this situation is more difficult in the case of persons with disabilities, in the case under analysis, Christian Jura (photo above), Secretary of State for the National Anti-Discrimination Council, told ProSport :

Image credit: Facebook / Theo Matican

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