The Portuguese Institute of Sports and Youth (IPDJ) and the National Institute for Rehabilitation (INR) repudiated, this Monday, the exclusion of people in wheelchairs from the Lisbon half-marathon, on Sunday, for alleged safety reasons. .
“The National Institute for Rehabilitation (INR) and the Portuguese Institute for Sports and Youth (IPDJ) come to demonstrate their repudiation regarding the reported events, which constitute not only a violation of the regulation itself, but also a clear violation of the Discrimination, and should, as such, be punished in the foreseen terms”, can be read in a joint statement signed by both institutes.
According to the same note, the alleged issues related to “the safeguarding of the physical integrity of all participants and guarantee of safety” have a “practical content” that “is unknown” and is omitted in the competition regulations.
In a statement, Maratona Clube de Portugal refers to having already met with officials from the Cerebral Palsy Association of Lisbon (APCL) and Iron Brothers – Irmandade de Ferro, who contested the fact that, before the race, several people in chair wheels were prevented from crossing the 25 de Abril Bridge, when they were at the head of the popular peloton.
According to the organizer of the race, at the meeting it was explained “that the limitations were due only to security issues arising from the specificity of the deck of the 25 de Abril bridge, safeguarding the physical integrity of all participants” and openness to working together with both institutions “so that, in the next edition, a formula can be found that, guaranteeing security, [permita que] the test can count on your participation”.
Maratona guarantees that it apologized for the “incident in which some young people from the association were involved” and recalls having been “a pioneer in the inclusion of athletes with disabilities in all of its competitions.
The meeting between the club and the APCL came about after that association denounced that a group of people in wheelchairs was prevented from participating in the race, “on the grounds that the regulations do not allow the participation of people in wheelchairs” .