RS Paradesporto reported yesterday that para-athlete Roberto Carlos Oliveira was awarded R$15,000 (€5,025) by the 9th Civil Chamber of the Court in Brazil following disqualification from the Puma Dez Milhas – etapa Porto Alegre race because the organizers did not clock his results, and that he subsequently not posted a time. Oliveira had originally asked for R$32,000 (€10,737) but this was later reduced by the courts. The fine was based on the harm the courts believed Oliveira suffered as a result of the organizer’s decision.
Oliveira had registered and paid his fees to participate in the Puma Dez Milhas – etapa Porto Alegre, and these were accepted by race organizers, sponsor and creator of the race, Vetor Esportes LTDA EPP, Esfera BR Mídia and Puma Brasil respectively. The three judge panel including Judge Miguel Angelo da Silva, Iris Helena Medeiros Nogueira and Eugênio Facchini Neto held all three were liable in this case because of their participation in organizing and heavily promoting the event. His ruling was based on Law 8.078/90, Brazil’s Consumer Protection Code.
The athlete had e-mailed Esfera BR Mídia before the race to ask if the prize money for the results would be based on overall results, or if there would be individual rewards for top finishers in different categories such as wheelchairs. Esfera BR Mídia responded to his question via e-mail to say rewards would be based on overall results. Oliveira then finished the race first and should have been eligible for the prize for posting a first place finish, but was instead disqualified by organizers who claimed that he had not posted a finish time.
As part of the ruling, a judge said:
It seems intuitive that event organizers failed to accept the participation of wheelchair athlete as being on equal footing with the other competitors, and to then simply consider removed or excluded him from the competition without justification, in a way that not permissible using a threadbare pretext of him not having a time as the reason for which not to give him the award that he was due.
The original results of the ruling were published on July 18 by the Tribunal de Justiça do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul. The trial took place on July 16. The case is Appeal No. 70057756595.