The Greatest Paralympic Scandal of All Time

The Greatest Paralympic Scandal of All Time


So it’s the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney. We’re in the final moments of the men’s intellectual disability basketball finals and Spain is up by 24. They’ve been killing it all week, and they’re about to finish off Russia and jump to third in the medal table behind the United States and Britain. The entire country is, needless to say, thrilled. And why wouldn’t they be? Unlike the cutthroat Olympics, the Paralympic Games are probably the most beloved sporting event in the whole world. It’s a celebration of triumph over hardship, the wonder of the human spirit. It’s one of the few times where athletes are all pulling for each other and there are no real losers. But, winning is just a bit sweeter, and Spain’s making it look easy on the hardwood. The last few seconds tick away and the team comes out on top. Journalists are writing copies about all the adversity these twelve young men have overcome to climb atop the podium and receive their much deserved gold medals. They’re soon to be national treasures, a testament to guts, grit, courage, and hard work. If they could accomplish their dreams, What’s stopping you? And as the national anthem plays and the crowd applauds, the moment seems picture-perfect? But little did the world know…. It was a lie. All of it was a lie. Doping remains a notorious issue for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, but especially for the latter. It’s easy to see why. Due to the very nature of the event many of the participants are on performance-enhancing drugs to treat physical disabilities. So policing drug abuse during the games has always been a challenge. A common form of doping is boosting, by which athletes with a spinal cord injury induce Autonomic Dysreflexia, and spike their blood pressure for increased performance. This practice was banned by the International Paralympic Committee in 1994, but it’s still an ongoing problem in the sport. To combat the issue in 2000, the Sydney Games established a doping control program and for the first time, Paralympic athletes were asked to participate in out-of-competition drug testing. This was a good step to take, it meant that the testing window is much wider and any competitor could be called for a test at any point throughout the games. And it worked! 14 athletes tested positive, it practically saved the powerlifting competition from becoming a total farce. But suppose a potential cheater was operating with a different premise. See if the doping control program was designed to police participants from using drugs to gain an unfair physical advantage. But what if an athlete desired instead to be disadvantaged? What if say a non-disabled person pretended to be disabled to compete. How would you police that? But, I mean, come on. Why would you need to police that, who would be so morally repugnant to try it? This is Fernando Martinez Vicente. At the time of the Sydney games, he was the president of the Spanish Federation of Sports People with Intellectual Disabilities, and by the time our story concludes, he will be found guilty of fraud and forgery. Here’s a recent photo of him shaking hands with the Pope. I’m not gonna act like I know this man’s character, it’s been almost two decades since the event we’re talking about, and a lot can change in that time. I do know that when you’re the head of an organization like FEDDI, there’s constant pressure to get a hold of government grants. It’s a surefire way to keep the lights on and often the only option to accomplish your institutions agenda. But grants don’t come easy. There’s a lot of organizations seeking them and only so much money to go around. So priority goes to associations that have a track record of success and at that point the only thing on your mind is win medals. Because the more medals you win, the more incentive the government has to extend grant money in your direction. So why not, just for one year enter a team that’s almost guaranteed to win. Yeah, but… how do you do that? Well, what if your team wasn’t actually disabled. How much easier could it be to come in first and again, you’re only doing it the one time. just win a gold medal and the incentives for grants is guaranteed. Your organization will stay afloat for the foreseeable future, you’ll employ plenty of people, and in doing so, your association can continue to assist those who are mentally disabled for maybe decades to come. It’s a classic case of trying to justify shady behavior in the name of the greater good. So FEDDI set out to build a super team…. and build it they did. All that was necessary was to recruit some fairly competitive basketball players who were willing to keep their mouths shut about the scam and things were set. I mean they really only needed to hire, like, two or three players tops to pull something like this off, right? I guess five if you wanted to stack your side of the court during play, but Spain took it even further. They recruited ten. Ten. Ten players out of the 12-man roster were not actually disabled. If you’re like me, the only thing on your mind is how? How did they pull this off, how did nobody notice this? It’s a fair question to ask. See in order to qualify as a participant in the Intellectual Disability Basketball Event, a prospective player is required to complete a litany of mental tests to determine their eligibility. the competitor must be determined to have an IQ of no more than 75, so these ten guys had to purposely fail a series of Intelligence tests and make it look authentic. Naturally, I decided to test this myself. What if I was one of the ten, could I fake my way through an IQ test into the category of mental disability? I mean how hard could it be? But there was a challenge I mean, I needed to score low enough to qualify for the event but also high enough so as to not attract any suspicion from hypothetical outside auditors I figured 55 was a good target to aim for. So a bit about the IQ test It measures several factors of intelligence like logical reasoning, math skills, language abilities, spatial relations skills, knowledge Retained, and the ability to solve novel problems. Though it’s always had some controversy associated with it. It’s still fairly Good way of judging a person’s level of intelligence. IQ is also fluid it changes with age and in that respect I was a little nervous I mean, I hadn’t taken a math test in almost a decade But I’m trying to fail right? So, no worries The challenge wasn’t gonna be so much scoring under 75 but scoring over 55 It is Incredibly hard to judge that kind of thing you go into the test blind and there’s no real way of gauging your progress as you Take it so I think that trick to this is like gonna be to answer in a way That’s close to right but not quite correct Does that make sense to women start at the same point? They walk into opposite directions for three meters then turn right and walk another four meters. How far apart are they? Some Gumble Stein’s ARPA janitors and Alton janitors our herbal sins are some cobble Stein’s definitely Kerbal since It’s too early for this okay Add the even numbers in this list 2 4 6 11 18 37 38 is the sum an even number or an odd number? well After about 40 minutes of deliberation your boy walked away with an IQ score of 25 I’d have undershot that a bit so pure I guess technically I wouldn’t have had any problems qualifying But I don’t know if such a score would have a laid suspicion either another point I should probably make note of here in the research for this video I read Conflicting reports as to how expensive the testing was for each player on Spain’s team some claim to have never been tested at all Some alleged that they purposely scored low on tests issued and other reports I read stated that all medical forms were forged from an outside source and delivered to officials without any players being made aware at all But whichever way you take at the end result was the same they all managed to slip in with no issues not every crazy story needs crazy twists And this one’s got a doozy if this whole thing was a Hollywood movie the main character would undoubtedly be this guy Carlos at rib Agora C-man was one of the ten recruited players that was in on the scam and during the games he helped propel Spain to victory but a few weeks after the closing ceremony he sent his medal back to Paralympic headquarters as well as his team kit and the 150 pounds that each Spanish athlete was given for the Sydney trip was it a sudden change of heart had his conscience Finally gotten the best of him don’t count on it the truth Carlos riba Gorda was an undercover investigative journalist And he was blowing the whistle on the whole operation so details are a little fuzzy about all of this But here’s what we do know after two years of work to Successfully infiltrate the ring, C-man was called up five months before the Sydney games and asked to participate There were five months of training with not a single Disabled person in sight the two genuinely disabled players came from outside Madrid in all that time the only medical test He was ever subjected to six push-ups, then a blood pressure check 110 over 78 So they hit the floor in Sydney and during their first match the team played so well against their disabled opponents that they were up 30 points by halftime at that point their coach told them to slow down and let the other team shoot more saying allegedly let’s move down the gear or they’ll figure out you’re not disabled so they moved down a gear and It made no difference when you’ve stacked the deck so deeply and so well How could it the entire week they cut down team after team after team and suddenly we’re back to the medal ceremony As the anthem plays as with every event in the Paralympics reporters begin to snap photos Of the champions and soon those photos are sent to newspapers all over Spain They’re the nation’s Paralympic champions after all but funny thing about photos They tend to get seen when the teams picture appeared on the front page of a popular Madrid sports daily It didn’t take too long for players and coaches in that photo To get recognized in an online article the comments section began to be filled with people claiming to know this guy or that guy, how they weren’t disabled at all and the whole scheme began to slowly, but surely, unravel. Officials caught wind of the brewing storm and advised the players to wear sunglasses hats and grow beards So they wouldn’t be recognized when the team arrived back home after the plane touched down C-man got off the flight and blew the whistle by publishing one of the most bizarre exclusives of all time and two weeks later the team was officially Disqualified and ordered to return the gold medals the fallout was so bad that the IPC announced They would officially suspend all the events that involved intellectual disabilities all of them due to serious difficulties in determining the eligibility of athletes that suspension would not be lifted until 2009 in 2013 after a decade of Investigation in court battles Fernando Martinez sente was found guilty of fraud and forgery. He was fined 5,400 euros a lot of folks would call it a slap on the wrist but to be fair He was also ordered to return the hundred and fifty thousand euros that he received from Sponsorships due to the team’s victory as for those 10 fake disabled Paralympians when all was said and done They walked away with no charges This is the point in the video where I’m supposed to come up with some kind of moral to wax poetic About how crime doesn’t pay and cheaters never prosper? But I can’t because that’s not true The world has plenty of athletes who will gladly bend and break the rules to get a bigger paycheck Many of them prosper far beyond what the straight shooters ever will it’ll always be like that So I guess the only thing we can really take away from this the greatest Paralympic scandal of all time is cheaters may prosper But they won’t be happy in a later interview C-man said this about the team’s attitude during the medal ceremony the whole thing was a farce really we stood there and listened But it was a false medal. It was a false national anthem Nobody really wanted to talk about it afterwards See, that’s the saddest thing about all this to me winning wasn’t enjoyable for the team because the team’s victory was a lie a gold Medal shines brightest when it’s won fairly and honorably It’s not nearly as satisfying To win when there really was no challenge in the first place, right? And it’s not just that they won by dishonest means It’s that they stole the medals from other teams that actually were battling these hard mental disabilities They robbed those Paralympians of the opportunity to grab a moment of victory a moment that many of them sorely needed Cheat and get away with it and every prize you receive will feel hollow and meaningless Oh and sheet and get caught and be prepared to have that stuff stick to you for the rest of your life Even Carlos riba Gorda the hero of the story will have his name forever connected to the events at Sydney He was the good guy How much worse do you think it is to be one of the other nine or the guy labelled as the? Mastermind of the whole operation in the end was this was all of this really worth it in The heat of the moment it might have seemed so but at the last What were they left with? So yeah stay in school kids Hey, thanks for watching if you liked the video then share it And if you want to see more content like that then subscribe to the channel or if you don’t then don’t I don’t really care Captions By
An Army Of Sentient Potatoes

100 Replies to “The Greatest Paralympic Scandal of All Time”

  1. Everywhere east of the UK are countries who don't care how they win, all you have to do is play online games and these countries are full of cheating scumbags!

  2. 8:57 the name for the guy #11. His name is probably Enrique. I went to school with a boy named Enrique and his nickname was pronounced KEE-Keh. So on his letterman jacket he wanted it to say kike but they denied it because it’s a racial slur. I didn’t know that either. So yeah. #11 has a racial slur on his jersey lol

  3. honestly…if you REALLY believe THAT THESE PEOPLE went there for MONEy (150 bucks). Its obvious this was IN THE TIME WHERE SPAIN had HUGE financial Troubles brewing and im more than sure that THE GUY (the hero of the story) actually is the biggest asshole of them all. Cause he WANTED this story no matter what…even IF this was only put together so that money could be secured SO THAT THERE EVERY WOULD BE a Paralympics for Spanish disabled people again. Cause lets be honest in times of trouble THESE are the things that get cut out first. And for 150 bucks…id say none of these players was there for THEIR money at all…we just LIKE to see THE BEST AND WORST in people AND THEIR ACTIONS. Not the reality which is always gray…

  4. The Paralympics are nothing short of a freak show. I watched a swimming event at the London Olympics, it was totally ridiculous. Several seemingly able bodied swimmers with an ear infection or something totally pathetic against a few with one arm or one leg, it's ludicrous, the genuine disabled don't have a chance.

  5. I was wondering for months now how the hell did austin ended up on my recommendation (I'm not complaining, he makes quality informative videos). Now I know whyyyyyy, this video is the reason and I remember watching this ones years back.

  6. 8:12, a question about currency..150 pounds? I thought Spain used the Euro, and currency shown isn’t that Australian Dollars?

  7. The fact they didn't think they'd get caught is stranger to me than how they managed to slip in. As if they wouldn't be seen and recognized… how could they not be?

  8. 6:31
    First answer is 10 meters when using Pythagorean's Theorem
    Second answer is technically No. Some Gomblesteins are Panganters and Panganters are always Gerbelsons. Some Gomblesteins will always be Gerbelsons Only If they are Panganters.
    I was too lazy for the 3rd one.

  9. It wouldnt be that hard to gauge IQ. Get 1 right, 1 wrong, and if you ever encounter a super hard one give yourself an extra 1 point buffer.

  10. The Invigilator:- So you guys are mentally stunted?

    Ten guys from the team whisper

    Guy 1- Yeah….. I got a b- on my test the other day…..

    Guy 2- I have 99 IQ….

    Guy 3- I opened my hot chocolate box the opposite side…

    Guy 4- I PoUreD mIlk bEfoRE mY CEreAl….

    The two guys who were actually mentally stunted

    Surprised Pikachu Face

  11. Not sure if this was covered in the video, i'm not done but found it interesting and have a short attention span. Apologies if so.

    Disabled people would break their toes or something to cause adrenaline to surge through their bodies. Unable to feel the injury, they were not impeded.

  12. Well I know how to win and i am evil enough to do that because I only care about my self and I don’t give a shit about others and how many I make feel bad

  13. Lol so this " journalist" had to take it all the way to receiving a medal, hey? ….lol his story is fake or he's just like the rest of them…for the story

  14. A real life version of Johnny Knoxville's "The
    Ringer" Totally fucked up IRL though. The movie was entertainment value and gave disabled individuals some solid work and started a few careers for others this is just fucked….

  15. I’ve been ignoring this video in my recommendations since it came out because with the thumbnail I thought “what’s the point I know what happens”, anyone else?

  16. I am a fan of poetic justice, the punishment for these people should be mandetory community service working with the mentally disabled. If they perform poorly, or act out against there sentence, then 15 years jail or a labotomy

  17. Cheating and never getting caught is very damn satisfying. Trust me.
    Never ever cheat if you cant make sure no one will find out.

  18. This is my favorite video of yours. lt’s always so nice to rewatch. Your other videos are also great, but this one always hits me so hard.

  19. You know… when i saw this i instantly thought that there's was going to be the spanish scandal of sidney, but, even if i was prepared for it, its still shocking. I'm spanish, i like the country and its things, we're not perfect, we have problems, but we're not bad people (at least, the majority). Then, you find this, and you start thinking: "who the fuck did this? Who is that type of person that for just reaching some glory, false glory, put some people without any dissabilities to play with an unfair advantage?"
    What happened there was just like insulting the real players, all your effort thrown because some idiots. They have no forgiveness, even if it has been 20 years since then.
    Ah, and there are the two real disabled who have lost any rewards and acknowledgment, literally anything for justs some pricks.

  20. So the athletes that should have gotten some kind of punishment didn't & the 2 actually disabled ppl were the only ones that did by never being allowed to be in the Paralympics again even tho they did nothing, so wrong.

  21. I stopped watching when they started wearing clothes, the Greeks predicted this would happen almost 2 millennia's ago

  22. they were transabled, which is disgusting. its when they want to be disabled and go under physical changes to become disabled.

  23. Why were players given pound sterling as apposed to australian dollar? Was it the commenwealth games? That should change the currency anyway

  24. That is NOT an IQ test…. an IQ test is your natural ability to learn and retain new information and to solve problems through reasoning. It has nothing to do with personal knowledge, a 5 year old in Tibet should be able to take the exact same test (of coarse in their language) as a 30 year old in Berlin. Math, Language comprehension, are personal knowledge, what you know; not if you can learn it, which is what IQ is!!!

  25. That wasn't a slap on the wrist, that was a full force punch in the face from a pro boxer…… to everyone else in the world.

  26. This man gave us the answer to the title in the thumbnail and yet over 4 million of us still clicked it… how can this man be so bad but good at clickbaiting??

  27. Now I'm imagining another team, that was also not disabled but tried really hard to make it seem that they were by playing much worse. Then going up against this team and losing, thinking "Jesus, these disabled guys are actually really good. Why do they need us here to win for them?"

  28. Lol…Spain is hilarious…truly inspirational stuff; the sequel to Vince Vaghn's "Dodgeball" entitled "Basketball: The IQ Overachievers of Para Olympics 2000"

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