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Archery Canada Suspends Canadian Para-Archer

October 15, 2014
Archery Canada Suspends Canadian Para-Archer

Archery Canada Suspends Canadian Para-Archer

World Archery, the international governing body for archery, recently brought down its decision regarding the matter of Canadian para-archery athlete Mr. Norbert Murphy. The decision reads as follows: “That Mr. Norbert Murphy be prohibited from seeking a further classification until 23 June 2016, being a period of two years from the date upon which the athlete intentionally misrepresented skills and/or abilities”.

Mr. Murphy broke the World Archery Rules in terms of classification at a world ranking para-archery tournament in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic in late June. The matter was dealt with by the chief classifier on site at the tournament.  Under Article 11.0 of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Classification Code and World Archery Article 1.14.1 it was up to the World Archery Board of Justice and Ethics to evaluate the case and decide if Mr. Murphy had broken the rules and establish the sanction. Articles 11.1 and 11.3 of the IPC Classification Code state:  "An Athlete who, in the opinion of the Classification Panel, is intentionally misrepresenting skills and/or abilities shall be considered in violation of the Classification Rules. If the Athlete intentionally misrepresents skills and/or abilities, the Athlete will not be allocated a Sport Class or Sport Class Status, and will not be permitted to compete at that Competition in that Sport." For the full details on article 11.0 of the IPC Classification Code, go to: 

Mr. Murphy has been deemed to be ineligible for classification as a result of his intentional misrepresentation of his physical strength, joint and muscle movement, and balance during the classification process. By deliberately "faking" his level of physical impairment, he sought to have himself classified in a class with the more severely impaired athletes and thus gain a competitive advantage. There is strong indisputable evidence of this misrepresentation based on what the trained Classifiers observed and their video footage of Mr. Murphy taken while he as on and off the field of play following the classification testing.

Archery Canada does not condone any actions by its members that are contrary to the spirit of fair play. Archery Canada no longer recognizes Mr. Murphy as a member-in-good standing. Therefore, his registration (membership) with Archery Canada and correspondingly with Archery Quebec is suspended for a two-year period retroactive from June 23rd 2014 through to June 23rd 2016. As such, the following applies to Mr. Murphy for this two-year suspension:

  1. Ineligible for registration (membership) with Archery Canada and Archery Quebec.
  2. Ineligible to shoot in any tournaments registered with Archery Canada and World Archery.
  3. Ineligible for selection to the Archery Canada Para-Archery National Team or any Archery Canada ‘able-bodied’ National Team.
  4. Ineligible to receive Archery Canada, Sport Canada and Own the Podium financial support for the above noted two-year period. This includes the termination of AAP (carding) support from Sport Canada and funding support from Own the Podium for fiscal year 2014-2015.

The World Archery decision only applies forward from the date of the classification misrepresentation of June 23rd 2014. Therefore, it has no impact on results achieved by Mr. Murphy prior to this date. This includes the bronze medal won by Mr. Murphy at the 2012 London Paralympic Games.

Background Information on Classification

Classification is a structure for competition. Paralympic archers have an impairment in body structures and functions that leads to a competitive disadvantage in sport. Consequently, criteria are put in place to ensure that winning is determined by skill, fitness, power, endurance, tactical ability and mental focus, the same factors that account for success in sport for archers who are able-bodied. The process that is put in place to define who can compete and to group the archers is called Classification.

In archery muscle strength or/and range of joint movement or/and coordination are tested. The allocation of a Sport Class is a process done by Classifiers who determine the level of functional ability of each archer. Archers may be classified a number of times throughout their careers and changes in Sport Class may occur if an archer’s condition improves or deteriorates.

For background information on the purpose of and process of classification in para sport, visit:

For background on the classification process used for para-archery, visit