Baroness Grey-Thompson's husband had 'unethical role' in Anne Wafula Strike reclassification

Baroness Grey-Thompson's husband played an "unethical" role in the reclassification of one of her British rivals, claims a written statement to MPs.

Ex-UK Athletics official Peter Eriksson alleges British wheelchair racer Anne Wafula Strike was unfairly moved from the T53 category to a more able-bodied category in 2006.

According to Eriksson, Ian Thompson, who was a British team coach at the time, suggested she be reassessed.

Grey-Thompson, an 11-time Paralympic champion, told BBC Sport neither she nor her husband had "any part in that process".

"Anne was assessed by international classifiers," the 48-year-old said, adding that that was "quite right as it's not my call and I'm not qualified to make that decision".

Eriksson's evidence, which was submitted as part of Tuesday's Department of Culture, Media and Sport select committee hearing into claims athletes were cheating the system - though not discussed as part of the proceedings - also alleged that Wafula Strike's medical records disappeared.

Wafula Strike was one of Grey-Thompson's nearest rivals but struggled after being reclassified, finishing second last in her T54 200m heat at the 2006 IPC World Championships.

Grey-Thompson said that she had "no personal or vested interest" in the reclassification, stating that their careers only partially overlapped.

"My last championship was the 2006 Worlds. I was 38 and my body was falling apart," said the Briton.

Wafula Strike told The Guardianexternal-link on Friday she was "never allowed to reach my potential as an athlete" and that the reclassification "effectively ended" her career.

Grey-Thompson also chaired a review into the classification system in March, which found that the system was flawed and "open to abuse".

What was said at the hearing?

Grey-Thompson told MPs on Tuesday that British athletes were threatened with not being selected if they spoke out about classification concerns in Paralympic sports.

"It's somewhere between bullying and control," she told the hearing.

It was announced on 25 October that classification rules would be revised, with effect from 1 January.

A BBC investigation found tactics such as taping up of arms, taking cold showers in trunks and even surgery to shorten limbs had been used by athletes to get into a more favourable class.

Grey-Thompson also said at Westminster that a duty of care had not been applied to Wafula Strike, adding that she was not on the classification panel when she was reclassified.

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