Rwanda National Paralympic Committee (NPC-Rwanda) have set three conditions that Paralympian Hermas Muvunyi must meet before he’s allowed back into competition.
A year after his controversial and abrupt retirement, Rwanda’s most decorated Paralympian penned an apology in which he asked NPC to give him another chance to live his dream.
NPC-Rwanda executive committee held a meeting with Muvunyi this week and according to the body’s president, Jean Baptiste Murema, the former world champions was asked to meet three conditions…
Firstly, he must apologize in writing, to the Minister of Sports and Culture Julienne Uwacu, retract what he had said led to his early retirement through the local media as well as apologize to his colleagues.
After doing all that, the executive committee will decide on Monday next week whether to grant him pardon.
Muvunyi has said he is ready to apologize and re-join his colleagues and pledged to always respect the rules governing NPC-Rwanda. “For the sake of my career, I’m ready to fulfill whatever conditions set,” he said.
The 29-year-old had made it clear that he would hang up his running boots after competing at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games where he was hoping to get a medal, but unfortunately failed as he faltered in the 1500m and was disqualified in the 400m final.
He later softened his stance to return to competing but on condition that, “there are fundamental changes to inspire Paralympic athletes in the country.”
“I want to tell everyone that I have not retired because of age or that maybe I had reached my peak but for circumstances beyond my control, that deny us the opportunity to reach our full potential,” he told Times Sport in an exclusive interview last year.
He noted that, “We go through so many challenges as professional athletes which at times requires third party assistance, so when that is not done you rather step aside other than sticking around without knowing what will happen the next day.”
His interview did not go down well with NPC-Rwanda officials, who insisted that Muvunyi would only be allowed back in the sport after rescinding what they believed was harsh criticism of the federation.
Muvunyi was introduced to Paralympic competitions in 2011, making his debut at the 2011 All-Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique where he won gold in the 400 metres and silver in 800m, which qualified him for the 2012 London Paralympic Games.
He then became the first Rwandan world champion after winning gold in the 800m T-46 at the International Paralympic Committee-Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France in 2013 before winning the 400m gold at the All Africa Games in Congo-Brazzaville in 2015.
The Kamonyi-born athlete added two more gold medals to his CV winning both the 400 and 800 metres at the 9th IPC Grand Prix de Tunis in March 2016. His last gold medal came in the 1500-metre T-46 during the Berlin Open Grand Prix July in Germany.