Iain Gowans

  • Doctoral Researcher
Start date: October 2019
Primary supervisor: Dr Daniel Rhind
Secondary supervisor(s): Dr Serhat Yilmaz / Professor Vicky Tolfrey / Dr Emma Beckman (The University of Queensland) / Graham Arthur (Independent Lawyer)

Iain has been involved in Paralympic sport since 1996 when he swam for Great Britain at the Atlanta Games. In 1998 Iain graduated from the University of Strathclyde in Sport in the Community and completed his master’s degree in Equality Studies at University College Dublin in 2003.

Iain worked for the British Paralympic Association from 2003-2021, with an 18-month break with the Organising Committee of the London 2012 Games.

Iain is particularly proud of developing educational materials for athletes and staff on the complex subject of Classification, which has been reproduced and translated around the world.


Research Title: Intentional Misrepresentation in Paralympic Athlete Classification

Intentional Misrepresentation is defined as a deliberate attempt by para-athletes to mislead governing bodies about the degree of their impairment to gain an unfair competitive advantage by being placed into a Para sport class with athletes of more severe impairments.

By looking at other areas of sport integrity and capturing the experiences and opinions of athletes and classifiers, this research will further the understanding of Intentional Misrepresentation and provide practical frameworks for its detection and deterrence, protecting the integrity of the Paralympic sport.

External Activities

  • International Paralympic Committee Athlete Classification Code Review Drafting Team Member

Featured Publications

(Author Acknowledgement) David AS, Paralympics and conversion disorder Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 2016;87:217-219

 The British Athletes Commission’s Video on Classification