IPC appoints new panel members to independent Board of Appeal of Classification

The primary purpose of the BAC is to hear athlete classification appeals in various Para sports across the Paralympic Movement 08 Jul 2020
Generic pics swimming
ⒸBob Martin for OIS

After a wide-ranging open recruitment process, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has appointed a new independent Board of Appeal of Classification (BAC). The 14-member panel report to the independent chair of the BAC, who is Fred Jansen of the Netherlands.

The primary purpose of the BAC is to hear athlete classification appeals in various Para sports across the Paralympic Movement. For each specific appeal three panel members are usually appointed from the pool of panel members, to act as a hearing panel. The chair of each hearing panel is responsible for writing a full and reasoned judgment in each case.

A classification appeal can only be brought forward by an athlete’s respective National Paralympic Committee or National Federation, whichever is the member of the International Federation (IF) governing the sport.

BAC members have a range of expertise in law, medicine, science, classification and/or Para sports. They hold a volunteer position on a four-year term and the current panel members have been appointed until May 2024. BAC panel members must be independent from the IPC and able to appropriately manage any other potential conflicts of interest.

Liz Riley, General Counsel of the IPC, commented: “The recruitment of the new panel was part of a strategic refresh of the Board of Appeal of Classification. This is the first time that the IPC has run an open and proactive recruitment campaign for members of the panel and was designed to ensure we have the best independent and appropriately qualified people.  These new members will enable the IPC and the IFs to ensure that the BAC has appropriate capacity and expert knowledge.”

Fred Jansen, independent chair of the BAC, added: “We were very impressed by the number of highly qualified candidates, and athletes should be reassured that we have a panel with a wide-range of expertise in the fields of legal, medical, scientific and Para sport.  That is thanks, in no small part, to the Association of Paralympic Sports Organisations and the IFs, who for the last year have been unstinting in their support of the recruitment process. It has ensured that we have the best panel possible for athletes.”

The BAC is a service that is available to all IFs. The BAC currently has jurisdiction over classification appeals in the following sports: Badminton World Federation; World Archery; World Para Alpine Skiing; World Para Athletics; World Para Dance Sport; World Para Ice Hockey; World Para Nordic Skiing; World Para Powerlifting; World Para Snowboard; World Para Swimming; World Shooting Para Sport.

The Board of Appeal of Classification


Fred Jansen

With over four decades of Para sport expertise, Fred is the former chair of the International Para Shooting Committee. He is also a former member of the Governing Board of the IPC and a member of the BAC. Since 2019 Fred has been acting chair of the BAC.


Hassan Abdallah

A lawyer from Lebanon currently practising in Dubai, Hassan has a Masters in International Sports Law and has acted as a Legal Counsel at the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (Disciplinary and Ethics Committee).

Ross Ashcroft

With multiple legal qualifications, Ross has gained extensive professional experience in academia and the legal profession promoting and advocating on issues of human rights, justice, procedural fairness and inclusion.

Dr. Tiago Carvalho

A sports law and corporate law specialist, Tiago is  currently taking a Masters in Sports Management. A previous BAC member, he has also been a member of the IPC’s Legal and Ethics Committee since 2019.

Chris Cohen

Chris was Chairman of IPC Athletics for almost 20 years. During that time also he was involved in the development of classification systems to bring each of the disability groups to the heart of the athletics programme.

Alan Dickson

Alan has been involved in disability sport since 1993 and was President of Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association. He served for eight years on the Governing Board of the IPC, and also chaired the IPC Legal and Ethics Committee for eight years.

Owain Rhys James

A barrister with a private practice in Wales, Owain is also a Deputy District Judge. He has an MSc in Dispute Resolution and is involved with sports regulation and discipline, both domestically and internationally.

Barry Lysaght

Barry is a lawyer with expertise in the disciplinary and regulatory functions of international federations. He served as Senior Legal Counsel at the FIA and Legal Group Leader at FIFA. Barry was previously Managing Editor of the Asser International Sports Law Journal.

Bethan Mitchell

Bethan trained as a commercial litigator and worked for a major international law firm on complex, high-value and multi-jurisdictional cases, before joining The Football Association as a football regulatory and litigation lawyer. She is a non-executive director of NGB Welsh Triathlon.

Andrew Moroney

Andrew is an English-qualified solicitor working for the largest law firm in the Middle East. He handles commercial, regulatory and disciplinary matters for a suite of major sports.  Previously he was Legal Counsel at The Football Association.

Chiara Perona

Chiara is a lawyer specialising in sport. In addition to running her own practice, she is a member of the Italian Olympic Committee’s educational body, running courses for athletes, coaches, referees and representatives. She also advises the Italian Football Referees’ Association.

Alberto Predieri

Alberto is an Italian corporate and commercial lawyer with a focus on cross-border deals. He has been involved in sport as an athlete, an administrator for international sailing organisations, and in a professional capacity, offering legal advice to teams.

Dr David Sharpe

David Sharpe QC is a barrister practising in the UK, Ireland and internationally. He is dual-qualified as a physician and has experience in emergency and sports medicine. David is an expert in sports law and sits as an arbitrator for several sport dispute resolution bodies.

Susanne van Waert

Corporate lawyer Susanne has extensive experience with classification procedures, due to her work as legal counsel of the Dutch Paralympic and Olympic Committee and Dutch Sports Confederation. She has also been an ad hoc panel member/chair of the BAC since 2016. 

Joe Walsh

Joe is a two-time Paralympian and Paralympic bronze medallist in Nordic skiing.  He was Managing Director of Paralympics for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee from 2001-2012 and worked on six Paralympic Games. He served as Vice President of the International Blind Sports Federation from 2013-2017.