All I can say about this is that it is an interesting story, and I can’t decide how I feel about it.
The Olympic aspirations of Oscar Pistorius, a double-amputee sprinter from South Africa, may end soon. Track and field’s world governing body is expected to announce that he is ineligible to race against able-bodied athletes because his state-of-the-art prosthetics give him an unfair advantage.
Pistorius was born without the fibula in his lower legs and with other defects in his feet. He had both legs amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old but has gone on to set Paralympic world records in the 100, 200, and 400 meters. He has defeated some able-bodied runners in his pursuit of attaining an Olympic qualifying time, touching off international debate over what constitutes disabled and able-bodied and how limits should be placed on technology to balance fair play with the right to compete.
The ruling by the International Association of Athletics Federations, track’s governing body, was informed by a scientific examination of Pistorius’s j-shaped, carbon-fiber blades, known as Cheetahs, and his biomechanics. In November, he was tested for three days in Cologne, Germany, under the supervision of Peter Brueggemann, a professor at the German Sport University.
“The I.A.A.F. has a rule which states that any technical aids which give an athlete an advantage over another are prohibited,” Nick Davies, the organization’s director of communications, said in a telephone interview from Monaco.