It was reported that they both submitted an application form, and when they came in contact with the organizing committee of the Marathon, they were refused.
“Makis Kalaras and I submitted our applications on the 5th of November and the truth is that we are overdue. The application did not mention that we were Persons with Disabilities ,and that we would be running in the Marathon with wheelchairs, because there weren’t any such fields in the application, nor were there any guideline for the wheelchairs,” said Alexandros.
Alexandros Taxildaris submitted an application to last year’s Marathon and wasn’t accepted then either. He says: “I thought maybe this year there would have been some groundwork in order to allow people with disabilities to participate.”
Alexandros and Makis came in contact with the organizing committee to inform them that they would like to just run behind all the athletes after they had already started, so there wouldn’t be any problems with the wheelchairs.
What happened next was not just absurd but is also discrimination. Alexandros recounts “After the committee found out were persons with disabilities and we would be racing with wheelchairs, they excluded us from the race using ridiculous excuses.”
Alexandros continues, stating that when he informed them of Makis’ and his involvement in the 2nd International Semi-Marathon in Thessaloniki, and in the Marathon in Spetses, the reply was “Just because you took part in some small event doesn’t mean we can let you enter Athens’ Marathon.”