By Gary Anderson

Canadian Para-archer Norbert Murphy has been banned for two years after being found to have misled classifiers at a tournament earlier this year ©Getty ImagesCanadian Paralympic bronze medallist Norbert Murphy has been banned for two years by World Archery after he was found to have misrepresented the level of his impairment during classification for a competition earlier this year.

The sport's governing body deemed Murphy deliberately misled classifiers at a world ranking event in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, on June 23 to gain a competitive advantage.

Following observation and reviewing video footage, World Archery's chief classifier at the event concluded Murphy had intentionally misrepresented the level of his physical strength, joint and muscle movement, and balance during the classification process.

Murphy, 58, competes in the W1 wheelchair class, defined as a tetraplegic or person with a comparable disability having problems with both arms and legs.

The other wheelchair class, W2, is defined as a paraplegic or person with a comparable disability that has a problem mainly with the legs.

Under Article 11.0 of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Classification Code and World Archery Article 1.14.1 it was down to the World Archery Board of Justice and Ethics to evaluate the case and decide if 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."

In handing down its judgement, World Archery has decreed that Murphy be "prohibited from seeking a further classification until June 23 2016, being a period of two years from the date upon which the athlete intentionally misrepresented skills and/or abilities."

Murphy won bronze at London 2012 in the W1 compound competition while he also has a bronze medal from the 2009 World Championships in Nymburk, Czech Republic.

These results are not affected by the ban.

London 2012 bronze medal winner Murphy is now highly unlikely to feature at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games ©Getty ImagesLondon 2012 bronze medal winner Murphy is now highly unlikely to feature at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games ©Getty Images

His suspension looks to have put any opportunity of appearing at the Rio 2016 Paralympics in serious jeopardy, as the qualification deadline for archery is July 11, 2016, just over two weeks after Murphy's ban ends.

World Archery has provisionally pencilled in a final qualification tournament for Rio 2016 on a yet-to-be-confirmed date in June of that year.

Archery Canada has also suspended Murphy for the same period stating that: "Archery Canada does not condone any actions by its members that are contrary to the spirit of fair play.

"Archery Canada no longer recognises Mr Murphy as a member-in-good standing."

Murphy has until October 30 to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related Stories
July 2012: 
Canada's archers bring home six medals from Czech Republic
June 2012: Evans to lead five-strong Canadian archery team at London 2012 Paralympics