The Island editorial centres around a story of stripping off the gold medal won by a Malaysian Shot Put winner, Ziyad Zolkefli, an intellectually disability player at the Paralympics Games recently held in Tokyo, Japan, on the ground that he had been late for the event by three minutes.
The question arises as to how he was allowed to participate in the event, if the lapses on the part of the player constitute a major disqualification, which debars him from enlisting as a player according to the rules of the game. However, IPC has thought it fit and proper to strip off his gold medal, once he won the gold medal, which, in our book, destroys all the hallmarks of sportsmanship at the highest level.
There is no indication that the event he participated in was unduly delayed or disrupted owing to the three minutes delay on the part of the winner. In any case, he should have been told in advance, before he was allowed to enroll for the game, that his medal, if any, would be withdrawn, if the reasons he has adduced are found to be false. In the absence of any admonition, the withdrawal of the gold medal he won, makes a huge dent on the trustworthiness and the reputation of the event of the IPC.
On the other hand, IPC should have borne in mind that the player in question is an intellectually unsound person, and the withdrawal of the gold medal after winning the event breaks all the norms and the spirits of the game. It is a tedious task to convince an unsound person of the lapses on his part after winning the game. The mental trauma he is undergoing would be enormous and cannot be reasoned out under any circumstances.
As the Editor has pinpointed, a question has to be raised whether the IPC members are in a sound mind to adjudicate the rules of the game in a fair and equitable manner.