The Colorado High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) is facing a potential lawsuit involving a swimmer and alleged violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
16-year-old Coronado High School junior swimmer Ethan Orr suffers from Type 1 diabetes and wears a glucose monitor both in and out of the water to track his blood sugar levels. While swimming, Orr affixes tape on top of the monitor to ensure it stays in place. He raced at several high school swimming meets in the past with tape.
However, when it came to the 2021 CHSAA State Championships meet, the 400y freestyle relay on which Orr competed was ultimately disqualified for not being able to produce a medical justification for wearing the tape.
According to Denver Post, the CHSAA rule book says a swimmer who wears tape to treat an illness must have a doctor’s note. Orr, who did not have a doctor’s note at the meet, was given the choice of removing the glucose monitor or sitting out the race. He chose not to swim and the team was disqualified.
Orr’s attorneys argue that the monitor wasn’t treating an illness so no note was required. They also say there is a provision in CHSAA’s rulebook that allows a referee to determine a swimmer’s tape is legal.(Denver Post)
Per the complaint filed on behalf of Orr, the CHSAA is being accused of violating the ADA Act which prohibits organizations that receive federal funding from discriminating against someone who has a disability.
“Right now, CHSAA behaves as a reckless quasi-governmental agency that is accountable to nobody,” Orr’s attorney IgorvRaykin said.
“I cannot imagine you can have any competitive advantage by putting tape over a glucose monitor, not to mention the competitive disadvantage you have by being Type 1 diabetic,” Raykin said. (Denver Post)