Commonwealth Star Erraid Davies Ruled Ineligible for Paralympics Again

Erraid Davies, whose smile after becoming the youngest Commonwealth Games medalist in history in 2014 brought the hearts of Scotland to their knees, has been ruled ineligible for the Paralympics for a second time.

Davies, who was 13 at the time and is now 15, underwent classification testing in April, which ruled her ineligible for competition under the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) banner. The testing determined that her physical impairment was no longer severe enough for her to compete in disability swimming events.

On Wednesday, on the eve of the IDM International meet in Berlin, Davies underwent a requested re-test that confirmed the April result after a bench test to study her range of motion and an in-water observation test.

Prior to being removed from the classifications, Davies was only eligible to swim in IPC races in breaststroke events, where she was classified as an SB9.

Davies has Pethes disease, a childhood disorder that causes bone death in the hips due to restricted blood flow, and spent four years in a wheel chair after being diagnosed at age 4.

According to Better Health, a program of the Australian government, “in most cases,” children recover from Perthes’ disease.

“Generally speaking, the younger the age of onset, the better the odds of full recovery, with almost all children under five years recovering without any complications,” the prognosis from Better Health reads. Having been diagnosed at age 4, Davies falls into this category.

Davies is one of many athletes who are undergoing classification testing in Berlin this week before competition begins. At least three other Paralympic medal-contenders, Ian SilvermanMacKenzie Coan, and Stephanie Millward, have been reclassified as a result of their tests.


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This is great news for this wee lassie. She is better ! That is what we wish for all disabled people everywhere .


Bad news for her swimming perhaps, but in the grand scheme of life (which is obviously more important) great!


So then why was Erraid given a classification in the first place? Victoria Arlen supposedly was classed out because there is a miniscule chance she will recover function in her legs. Perthes Disease starting at the age of 4 nearly always completely resolves.
Could it be that the classifiers just do not understand the nature of the impairments they are classifying?


Yep! It’s very obvious that they do not. I’m not sure where the ‘blame’ sits. Its impossible to be knowledgeable about every impairment but it seems to be that they try to fit square pegs in round holes. They need specialists on board, Neurologists for example. Plus I don’t get how it works. The classifiers are independent from the IPC, so who is accountable for the classifiers and the decisions they make? Para swimming is becoming more and more of a hot mess as the meets go by and this one is no exception. It is good news for Erraid although she may not think it at the moment. She was fantastic at the Commonwealth Games and classed fair and… Read more »


Arlen is doing some walking now so maybe in some cases they get it right.


That’s also great news for Arlen.

Let’s see if they can get it right again this week TAA. They have an almost identical situation going through classification this week.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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