Shevtsov Wins European Para Bronze, Then Is Removed From the Results

EUROPEAN PARA SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

The European Para Swimming Championships in Madeira, Portugal, will conclude on Saturday evening. Controversies surrounding Sergii Shevtsov‘s presence continue.

About a month ago, SwimSwam reported on the case of Sergii Shevtson, a Ukrainian freestyle swimmer who competed in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and participated in some para-swimming events this season.

After competing in the Para World Series’ Italian leg and being initially classified as S9, the WPS decided to reevaluate his condition. This decision came during the European Championships, the last valid opportunity to obtain an international classification necessary for participation in the Paris 2024 Paralympics.

Earlier this week, the commission deemed the 25-year-old athlete eligible for classification in S10 and SB9 (SB indicating races with dominant leg use, such as breaststroke and medleys, where classifications may differ from those in backstroke, butterfly, and freestyle).

SHEVTSOV WEEK’S EVENTS

The week of competitions began with Shevtsov participating in the 100m breaststroke SB9, where he finished 13th with a time of 1:26.80.

On the same day, Shevtsov also competed in the 50m freestyle S10, qualifying for the final and finishing third behind Italy’s Stefano Raimondi, who won silver, and compatriot Nimchenko, who won gold.

On the penultimate day of competition, he took part in the heats of the 100m freestyle S10, qualifying for the final but ultimately not competing.

REMOVED FROM ALL S10 RESULTS

Despite having a photo of the podium for the 50m freestyle S10 (the cover photo of this article) and full race videos on the Paralympic Games YouTube channel, which prove Shevtsov’s presence in the freestyle events of these days, the official results of the competition have erased all traces of the Ukrainian athlete in these distances. Reviewing the PDF results of the S10 50m freestyle heats, the final where he finished third, and the S10 100m freestyle heats, Shevtsov’s name is nowhere to be found. All PDFs of these events show “CORRECTED” results. The bronze medal in the S10 50m freestyle now appears awarded to Dmitry Gregoryev, a neutral athlete.

INCOMPLETE CLASSIFICATION

Sources from SwimSwam indicate that Sergii Shevtsov is currently listed as “CNC,” which, according to World Para Swimming regulations, stands for “Classification Not Completed”:

“If, at any stage of athlete evaluation, World Para Swimming or a classification panel is unable to allocate a sport class to an athlete, WPS, the Head of Classification or the relevant Chief Classifier may designate that athlete as ‘Classification Not Completed’ (CNC).

The CNC designation is not a port class and is not subject to the provisions in these classification rules concerning protest.

(…)

An athlete who is designed CNC may not compete in the sport of World Para Swimming.”

The specific physical condition that qualifies Sergii Shevtsov as a para-athlete has not been detailed. In March, his coach described his illness as follows: “Sergii has a rapidly progressive genetic disease diagnosed when he was 14 years old. In the last two years, his health has significantly deteriorated, entitling him to participate in para-swimming events.”

Shevtsov and his coach both declined to elaborate on the condition.

Shevtsov competed in the men’s 100m freestyle at the Tokyo Olympics, finishing 35th with a time of 49.55, and has also represented Ukraine at the World Swimming Championships in 2017, 2019, and 2022, and was part of the Energy Standard team during the ISL 2019 season.

Shevtsov holds the Ukrainian national record in the men’s 100m freestyle for both long course (48.26) and short course (46.38) events.

 

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Parafan
1 month ago

Sadly, there is rampant cheating in Paralympic classifications.
Here are a few reasons this occurs:

  1. There is no verification that the medical records submitted have been completed by a qualified physician.
  2. The individuals who classify the athletes, have no expertise in disabilities, and how disabilities affect the mechanics of the swimmer.
  3. Many of the swimmers will purposely swim poorly during and around their classification to cheat the system.
  4. As we have seen from doping scandals, national Olympic committee’s are willing to cheat, and the penalties for cheating are often not properly and evenly enforced.

Yes, it would require a lot of manpower and money to verify the documentation of every athlete and more money to have physicians… Read more »

CNC or IM ?
1 month ago

We need to just call CNC for what it is- the majority of cases it is Intentional Misrepresentation (cheating). Not every case, but the majority. 

In 2016 the IPC investigated more than 80 athletes for IM but found there was not enough evidence to prove any were guilty. It is astounding that not a single athlete was found guilty!

According to the 2022 World Para Swimming Classification Rules and Regulations, CNC means that an athlete’s classification process was suspended and the athlete is not eligible to compete until another classification appointment can be completed. There are some benign reasons for CNC to be given which are as follows (abbreviated), “World Para Swimming believes that the impact of a Health Condition… Read more »

Swimmer
1 month ago

Honestly the whole classification system is flawed, but I can’t see how it can be changed / improved. Every disability is unique, and so putting them into 14 classes with equalish competitiveness is near to impossible.

When you have an athlete who completely dominates a category there are inevitably going to be questions over whether they are in the wrong classification, and that often leads to negative implications for athletes.
E.g Tully Kearnery S5, Brock Whiston S8, even Alice Tai who won 7 golds at the 2019 worlds, including outsplitting and S10 athlete on the relay, when she is S8.

I don’t know what the solution is but these CNC’s aren’t good for either the athlete nor the sport.

GMD
1 month ago

The comments imply that the CNC designation may be related to intentional misrepresentation, namely making it appear during classification that the swimmer has a more significant disability than is actually true. Am I understanding this correctly? How does a swimmer get the CNC designation removed?

P 1
1 month ago

Multiple questions to be asked about all of these CNC athletes. Should Shevtsov lose his bronze medal here? Multiple athletes from Uzbekistan were also made CNC, what happens to them, can they compete in Paris? Are there any other classification opportunities? World medalist Christie Raleigh-Crossley from America also CNC. Several Russian athletes were made CNC this year as well. How does the Paralympic classification team determine this

Para swim parent
1 month ago

Everyone’s favorite American “para swimmer” Christie Raleigh Crossley is also classified as CNC after the World Series leg in Melbourne. Similar to past years, she added 25 seconds in her 100 back (where she is the reigning world champion) during her classification observation swim. Glad WPS is finally catching on to things like this to protect the sport!

About Aglaia Pezzato

Aglaia Pezzato

Cresce a Padova e dintorni dove inizialmente porta avanti le sue due passioni, la danza classica e il nuoto, preferendo poi quest’ultimo. Azzurrina dal 2007 al 2010 rappresenta l’Italia con la nazionale giovanile in diverse manifestazioni internazionali fino allo stop forzato per due delicati interventi chirurgici. 2014 Nel 2014 fa il suo esordio …

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