The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has suspended Carlos Campos, the former Chair of IBSA Football 5 Sub-Committee, from participation or any involvement in the Paralympic Games and all IPC events until 7 September 2020 after he was found guilty of five breaches of the IPC Code of Ethics relating to qualification for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Following a lengthy IPC investigation, it was discovered that in early 2011 Campos entered into a contractual and financial relationship with the Turkish Blind Sports Federation for the provision of various services.
In November 2011, after no African country qualified for London 2012, Campos chaired the IBSA Football 5 Sub-Committee to decide whether Colombia, Japan or Turkey should be awarded the final slot to the football 5-a-side competition at the Paralympic Games.
Turkey was awarded the final slot, a decision that the Japanese Paralympic Committee unsuccessfully appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
An IPC Legal and Ethics Committee Hearing Panel in October 2013 determined that receiving payment from the Turkish Blind Sports Federation, whilst at the same time chairing the group who decided which team took the final London 2012 qualification slot, was a serious conflict of interest for Campos. The Panel also found that in denying Japanese or Colombian athletes the opportunity to compete at London 2012 and in failing to provide the IPC with important and relevant information in the context of the Japanese appeal to CAS, Campos had also breached his obligations under the Code.
As a result, they found him guilty of breaching paragraphs 2.1 and 2.3 of the IPC Code of Ethics which state:
2.1 “Members of the Paralympic Family shall have no undisclosed direct or indirect interest in or any relationship with any outside organisation or person that might affect, or be reasonably misunderstood by others to be affecting his/her objectivity, judgement, or conduct in carrying out the duties and responsibilities that he or she has in conjunction with the Paralympic activities. This also applies to spouses, family members, businesses, or organisations to which Members of the Paralympic Family may belong.”
2.3 “It is the personal responsibility of each member of the Paralympic Family to avoid any case of conflict of interest. Faced with a situation of a potential conflict of interest, the person concerned must refrain from expressing an opinion, from making, or participating in making, a decision or accepting any form of benefit whatsoever. However, if the person wishes to continue to act or if the person is uncertain as to the steps to take, the person must inform the IPC Legal and Ethics Committee of the situation; the Legal and Ethics Committee is responsible for advising persons, at their request, in a situation of a potential conflict of interest.”
As a result the Hearing Panel suspended Campos from participation or any involvement in the Paralympic Games and all IPC events for a period of 27 months starting 13 October 2013.
Campos decided to appeal this decision and in late February 2014, an IPC Appeal Panel upheld the original guilty verdicts.
The Appeal Panel confirmed the findings of the first Panel and found that by his actions Campos had also breached paragraphs 1.3, 1.4 and 10.1 of the Code:
1.3 Work for the benefit of the entire Paralympic Movement and all its athletes and not just for a particular constituent such as an National Paralympic Committee, International Organisations of Sport for the Disabled, sport or region.
1.4 Safeguard the athletes’ interests, priorities and opportunity to participate in fair competition and excel in sport.
10.1 Sports leaders and administrators shall make all decisions with absolute impartiality in the best interest of the athletes and the sport.
As a consequence, the Appeal Panel felt the original suspension of 27 months was too lenient and increased it to 82 months starting from 13 October 2013, the date of the original hearing.
This means that Campos is banned from participation or any involvement in the Paralympic Games and all IPC events until 7 September 2020, the day after the Closing Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
All IPC members are obliged to assist in the enforcement of this suspension and no one should provide any opportunities for Campos to violate the suspension.