The Men's Shot Put F57 event at the Tokyo Paralympics was defiled with controversy after Brazilian Thiago Paulino was stripped off his gold medal more than 10 hours after he had thrown his match-winning throws. Due to a controversial decision, the 35-year old protested right on the podium as he was receiving his bronze medal.
While he did stand on the third place podium, his strong actions spoke otherwise. He pointed towards the first place position, in a silent manner, and made sure everyone knew that he was the rightful gold medallist. Showing his anger throughout the ceremony, the shot-putter even lowered his head and held up a fist in protest against the unfair decision that so dearly cost him his honours.
It was the Chinese Paralympic Committee that filed a complaint against the Brazilian's second and third attempts, which included his gold-winning 15.10m throw. After invalidating his best throws, he was rewarded the bronze medal.
According to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the official event video was viewed and assessed before coming to a final decision. The Brazilian Paralympic Committee is of the opinion that the Chinese had their suspicions during and after the event, but the referees paid no heed.
It was after that moved the appeal jury, a body under the IPC, that the matter was looked into it. While the appeal was moved in favour of the Chinese, no image showing fault in the shots or obstruction of rules was revealed to the outside world, which left the Brazilian saddened and furious.
Brazilian TV showed footage from the event that showed the athlete did not do anything wrong in terms of movement, but the jury said their decision was based on another angle of the video.
Yet, they refused to provide any evidence for the same. The President of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee made his disagreement known on social media as he called out the blatant lack of transparency in the system.