Philip Craven

Sir Philip Craven

Craven in 2012
2nd President of the International Paralympic Committee
Assumed office
8 December 2001[1]
Preceded by Robert Steadward
Personal details
Born (1950-07-04) 4 July 1950
Bolton, England
Nationality British
Residence United Kingdom
Education Bolton School
Alma mater University of Manchester
Craven participating in the medal presentation ceremony for the equestrian events at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics

Sir Philip Craven MBE (born 4 July 1950) is a British sports administrator and former athlete. He is the second and current President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

Early life and education

Craven was born on 4 July 1950 in Bolton, England.[2] He was educated at Bolton School Boys' Division, where he was a keen swimmer, cricketer and tennis player. In 1966, at the age of 16, he fell during a rock-climbing expedition at Wilton Quarries, Bolton. The accident left him without the use of his legs.[3] He studied geography at the University of Manchester, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1972.[4]


Craven represented Great Britain in wheelchair basketball at five editions of the Paralympic Games, from 1972 to 1988. He also competed in track and field athletics and swimming at the 1972 Games.[5][6]

He won gold at the wheelchair basketball World Championships in 1973, and bronze in 1975, as well as two gold medals (1971, 1974) and a silver (1993) at the European Championships. He also won gold at the European Champions Cup in 1994, and gold at the Commonwealth Paraplegic Games in 1970.[5]

Results at the Paralympic Games


Games Events Result Rank
1972 Athletics: Men's 100m (wheelchair, category 3) 29.1 s. 24 (of 41)
1972 Athletics: Men's slalom (category 3) 75.4 s. 24 (of 28)
1972 Swimming: Men's 50m breaststroke (category 3) 59.45 s. 6 (of 13, in the heats)
did not advance
1972 Men's wheelchair basketball Group A: lost to Argentina 48:56, won vs Sweden 44:38, won vs Netherlands 39:31, won vs Italy 40:17
Semi-final: lost to USA 36:52
Bronze medal match: lost to Argentina 39:54
4 (of 19)
1976 Men's wheelchair basketball Group C: lost to Argentina 48:52, won vs West Germany 33:28, tied vs Spain 38:38, won vs Denmark 74:22
Quarter-final: lost to Israel 26:60
no rank
1980 Men's wheelchair basketball Group D: lost to France 36:63, lost to Sweden 43:71, won vs Egypt 122:24
Second round: lost to W. Germany 44:56, won vs Australia 62:33, won vs Denmark 66:44
Semi-final for 9th place: lost to Belgium 23:63
Final for 11th place: lost to Spain 54:66
12 (of 17)
1984 Men's wheelchair basketball Group C: won vs France 48:47, won vs Australia 62:42, lost to Japan 52:62, won vs Egypt 108:13
Quarter-final: lost to USA 40:78
no rank
1988 Men's wheelchair basketball Group A: lost to USA 38:52, lost to Sweden 39:42, won vs Brazil 61:21
Quarter-final for 9th place: won vs S. Korea 60:30
Semi-final for 9th place: lost to Australia 29:40
Final for 11th place: won vs Spain 40:34
11 (of 17)

Sports administrator

In 1980, alongside Horst Strohkendl and Stan Labanowich, Craven played a vital role in the development of a new classification system for wheelchair basketball athletes. Wheelchair basketball rejected its medically based classification system consisting of 3 classes, a system that was founded upon principles that forced athletes to depend on medical examinations. This progress led to a new 4-class functional system, which was democratically voted in 1982. Due to this, wheelchair basketball was increasingly associated with sport as opposed to medicine and rehabilitation, although both still play an important secondary role.

In 1988, Craven was elected Chairman of the Wheelchair Basketball Section of the International Stoke Mandeville Games Federation (ISMGF), the first athlete to lead the sport worldwide. Craven's striving for self-determination and self-government pave the way for the establishment of wheelchair basketball as an independent federation, when it gave up its previous identification as a basketball section of the ISMGF to become the independent, self-governing International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) in 1993. At the First IWBF Official World Congress 1994 in Edmonton, Alberta, Philip Craven was elected the first President of IWBF, holding the office until 1998. A productive and more formalised working relationship with FIBA, the worldwide governing body for the sport of basketball, was arranged under Craven's administration, to further legitimise wheelchair basketball itself.

Craven was elected as the second President of the International Paralympic Committee in 2001, a position he continues to hold today.

He was knighted in June 2005.[7]

Notable achievements as sports administrator

Ban of Russian paraplegic athletes

On 7 August 2016, Craven announced that the International Paralympic Committee is banning Russia from participating in the 2016 Paralympic Games for allegedly violating international doping rules.[8] This followed WADA's June 2016 report [9] with accusations of state-sponsored doping in Russia. Craven put the blame for the ban on Russia's government, stating that Russia has "catastrophically failed its para athletes," adding, "their medals-over-morals mentality disgusts me."[8] Russia's appeal to the CAS against the ban was rejected,[10] a decision that prompted President Vladimir Putin's public accusations against the international bodies responsible for imposing the ban.[11]

Other activities

Craven served as Company Secretary at the British Coal Corporation from 1986 up to 1991.

He is an Ambassador for Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organisation,[12] committed to serving peace in the world through sport.

See also


  1. IPC General Assembly Elects Craven as President, The Paralympian 4/2001 – International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
  2. "Paralympics 2012: Games set 'to take off' says IPC president". BBC. 26 August 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
  3. Sir Philip Craven MBE oration by Professor Frank Sanderson, Liverpool John Moores University
  4. "CRAVEN, Sir Philip (Lee)". Who's Who 2016. November 2015. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  5. 1 2 Biography, International Paralympic Committee
  6. 1 2 Results archive, International Paralympic Committee
  7. "Top honours for wheelchair stars", BBC, 10 June 2005
  8. 1 2 "Russian Paralympic athletes banned from competing in Rio" by Marilia Brocchetto and Thom Patterson, CNN, 7 August 2016
  9. "New WADA report provides fresh allegations on Russian doping" by Tom Sweetman, CNN, 16 June 2016
  10. "Russia banned from Paralympic Games after appeal failure" by James Masters, CNN, 23 August 2016
  11. "Vladimir Putin: IPC has 'humiliated itself' with Russian Paralympic ban decision" by Tom Sweetman and Sophie Eastaugh, CNN, 25 August 2016
  12. Peace and Sport

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