South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has been beaten at the London Paralympics, and he's not a happy chappie; the BBC reports:
World record holder Oscar Pistorius criticised the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) after he was beaten by Brazil's Alan Oliveira in the final of the Paralympic T44 200m.Pistorius said Oliveira's artificial legs - known as blades - are too long.The South African was overhauled by the 20-year-old in the final 20 metres as Oliveira won in 21.45 seconds, with Pistorius second in 21.52."We are not running in a fair race here," Pistorius told Channel 4."I'm not taking away from Alan's performance but I can't compete with Alan's stride length."The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) have their regulations and their regulations mean that some athletes can make themselves unbelievably high - his knee heights are four inches higher than they should be."The IPC immediately denied any wrongdoing had taken place and that all blades had adhered to their strict regulations. "There is a rule in place regarding the length of the blades which is determined by a formula based on the height and dynamics of the athlete. All athletes were measured today prior to competition by a classifier and all were approved for competition," a spokesman said.Pistorius is understood to have made similar suggestions about Oliveira during a press huddle after Saturday's heats and went on to claim that although it is standard procedure is for prosthetic blades to be measured before competition "the guys rarely do the measuring in the call room."Oliveira was also quick to defend himself. Speaking through an interpreter, he told Channel 4: "The length of my blades is all right, I went through all the procedures with the referees. Once I come inside the track it's because it's all been cleared up and I believe Pistorius also knows that."Asked if he had changed the length of his blades between the semi and the final, Oliveira added: "No. Since the first time I put them on they've been following the IPC rules and I've been using them already for a whole month, just the same blades."
And the Beeb notes that there is a certain irony in Pistorius' protestations; read on:
It is not the first time Pistorius has been involved in a row about artificial aids and how they affect sporting performance - although previously he was the subject of complaints.In 2008 he was banned from competing in able-bodied events by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which ruled that his prosthetic limbs gave him an unfair advantage, but the ban was overturned later that year.Pistorius went on to compete at the London Olympics but now his surprise defeat in the T44 200m final has reopened the debate surrounding technology in sport."As I said yesterday, the IPC don't want to listen," he added. "The guys' legs are unbelievably long. Not taking away from Alan's performance, he's a great athlete, but these guys are a lot taller and you can't compete 1/8 with the 3/8 stride length."You saw how far he came back. We aren't racing a fair race. I gave it my best. The IPC have their regulations. The regulations 1/8 allow 3/8 that athletes can make themselves unbelievably high.