Entertainment & Sports Law
IAAF Ruling in Unusual Case: Amputee Can’t Run in Olympics
Posted Jan 14, 2008 5:51 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
A man who had both his legs amputated below the knee when he was a small child can't compete as a sprinter in the 2008 Olympics because the prosthetic limbs he uses give him a competitive advantage over the other runners.
The International Association of Athletics Federations ruled today that Oscar Pistorius of South Africa would get an unfair advantage from his prosthetic legs if allowed to compete against those standing on their own two feet in Beijing, reports the Associated Press. This is the reportedly the first time the IAAF has addressed the issue, but a German professor, Gert-Peter Brueggemann, conducted tests for the body and determined that Pistorius can run just as fast as able-bodied runners, while using less energy to do so.
Pistorius reportedly will still be allowed to compete against disabled persons in Paralympic events, in which he has set several world records.
He runs on two J-shaped carbon fiber extensions to his legs that look like sleek, slender flippers, and is known as "the blade runner" because of his prosthetics.