Oscar pissed at IAAF

SHEFFIELD, England, July 16, 2007 (AFP) : Oscar Pistorius accused athletics’ world governing body of a lack of respect for disabled competitors after the amputee runner’s bid to qualify for next month’s World Championships in Japan suffered a setback at the British Grand Prix.
In wet conditions Pistorius, last of those who finished, was subsequently disqualified for running outside his lane.
The 20-year-old South African runs on carbon fibre blades attached to both his legs below the knee and his artificial ‘limbs’ are currently the subject of an investigation by the IAAF, athletics world governing body.
They have previously ruled that the blades are an unfair advantage but have said they will wait before making a final ruling.
There have also been complaints that Pistorius’s presence in able-bodied races, while generating public interest, denies athletes with better times a chance of international competition.
Even though he currently requires IAAF clearance to compete in events such as Sunday’s race in northern England, that didn’t stop Pistorius lashing out at the official surveillance he is now encountering.
They haven't been in contact with me... they should be working with me. They don't seem to have any respect for Paralympic sport,'' he told the BBC. But an even bigger obstacle to Pistorius's hopes of running in Japan than official disapproval could be the weather, with the Pretoria runner markedly less effective on a wet track. Conditions at a rain-soeaked Don Valley Stadium on Sunday were not easy for anyone - United States Olympic and World champion Jeremy Wariner stumbled out of the blocks and then stopped as the field continued without him - but they clearly made life tough for Pistorius, especially on the bends. In order to qualify for the 400m at Osaka, Pistorius has to post a time of 45.95 seconds or better. He gave an indication of his ability by clocking 46.90 seconds in a 'B' race during Rome's Golden League meeting on Friday where several cameras tracked his progress as part of the IAAF's inquiry - something he labelled amateur’’.
But time is running out for Pistorius, who had both legs amputated below the knee when less than a year old because of a congenital condition, if he is to qualify for the World Championships.
And he admitted as much after a race on Sunday won by Angelo Taylor of the United States, the 400m hurdles champion at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Pistorius, last of the seven runners who completed the course, was more than a second behind sixth-placed Ato Modibo of Trinidad.
Such form suggests the IAAF may be spared having to rule on Pistorius’s eligibility for Osaka as he would require a marked improvement to achieve the qualifying time.
I've really learned a lot from this,'' said Pistorius after Sunday's race. Things like the way they train and the way they compete. I have a long, long way to go before I get to that level.’’

I haven’t read the above post, but I watched the interview yesterday. Afterwards, some comments were made by the presenters that he should not really speak like this, if he wants to have IAAF on his side. Thoughts?

Should he be able to compete against able bodied athletes?

Should he be competing against able bodied athletes at a higher level thereby keeping others out?
I think not but then meet promoters can put who they want in where, it is their meet and is a business venture.

Re the WC and Olympics…will have to wait and see the outcome of teh IAAF tests.

With all the arguments being said about how his prosthetics can be advantageous (longer stride, no lactic acid development, speed maintenance in the last meters…), I personally doubt things will go his way.

I really can’t blame him for speaking his mind publicly though. Parolympic athletes get few public attention anyway, and this is a chance for him to represent and express some frustration towards the inferior publicity that outstanding efforts receive in the parolympic events.

Is frustration the way to go? I guess if you feel it, you express it… :o I think you get the message across better this way anyway.

IAAF rejects Pistorius criticism

Athletics’ governing body, the IAAF, wants Oscar Pistorius “to calm down” after the double-amputee accused it of “stuffing up” his season.
The sprinter could be banned from the 2008 Olympics if the IAAF decides his blades give him an unfair advantage.

“We’ve got nothing against disabled athletes,” IAAF communications director Nick Davies told BBC Radio Five Live.

“We believe these are technical aids. We are giving him the benefit of the doubt by doing research on his blades.”

In March the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) introduced a rule banning any runner deemed to benefit from artificial help.

It later said Pistorius could compete while they researched whether or not he gains an advantage from his blades.

South African Pistorius, who competed in the 400m in Sunday’s British Grand Prix in Sheffield, said there had been a breakdown in communication between him and the IAAF.

“They have things to rectify and it is their duty to do the necessary testing to clear up this matter,” he said.

“The ban they implemented made me go back to a winter training schedule but then four weeks ago when they lifted it I had to go back to a summer schedule so it has stuffed up my season.”

But Davies said: "The fact is he’s never been banned.

“We have a rule that basically forbids technical aids. We’ve got nothing against disabled athletes.”

"What we did four weeks ago was not re-instate him but actually clarify he wasn’t banned, that he could run.

"What we are doing now is… finding out if [his blades] do give him an advantage, in other words make him faster than he would have been as an able-bodied athlete.

"I just think he needs to calm down a little bit and to respect us as well and the fact that we’re paying for the research, he isn’t.

“We’re doing it off our own bat and we’re just trying to be very fair with him.”


Amputee legs provide air advantage: IAAF

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July 17, 2007 - 10:49AM

The prosthetic legs that double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius races with provide less air resistance than normal legs, the IAAF has said.

Pistorius, who competed against elite able-bodied athletes for the first time on Sunday at the British Grand Prix, wears curved, carbon-fibre prosthetic legs when he races.

Hoping to be allowed to compete at the Beijing Olympics next year, Pistorius also ran in a “B” race in Rome on Friday, and finished second.

“The guy Oscar beat on Friday - the stride length was the same, but the speed through the air was slower for the able-bodied guy,” IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said.

“This research makes us want to do more.”

The International Association of Athletic Federations has been reviewing footage from two high definition cameras that filmed Pistorius in Rome to determine if his prosthetic racing legs give him an unfair advantage.

Davies said the initial research also showed that the way Pistorius distributed energy was virtually the opposite to able-bodied runners. And unlike able-bodied runners, Pistorius was faster at the end of the race instead of the beginning.

Pistorius finished second on Friday in 46.90 seconds. But against the elite field on Sunday in Sheffield, England, he was the last racer across the finish line and was then disqualified for running outside his lane.

The IAAF introduced a rule in March banning any runner deemed to benefit from artificial help from competing, but Davies said that was not necessarily meant to include athletes like Pistorius.

“Maybe he’s overreacting over certain things. He seems to think that we’ve banned him then decided he was eligible,” Davies said.

“We clarified the situation. No-one has banned him. We want to give him the benefit of the doubt.”

Davies also said the IAAF was not discriminating against disabled athletes, citing legally blind runner Marla Runyan of the United States, who competed in the 1,500m at the 2000 Olympics and in the 5,000m in Athens four years later.

“We need to separate emotion from the science,” Davies said.

“We all wish him well. The point here is what’s going to happen in 10 years? What happens if it continues to evolve?”

Pistorius was born without fibulas - the long, thin outer bone between the knee and ankle - and was 11 months old when his legs were amputated below the knee.

He began running four years ago to treat a rugby injury, and nine months later won the 200 meters at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece.

He has set world records in the 100m, 200m and 400m in Paralympic events.

To make next year’s Olympics, Pistorius would have to run a 46.3 before the July 2008 qualifying deadline.

Our young Oscar is really being silly now. I have no idea what he hopes to achieve through his latest actions.

I think things have gone to his head a bit. I met him the first time when he was still at school and he had just broken the 200m WR for the first time. He was a humble young man back then. I saw him again this year at our national champs and he had completly changed. He had loads of side shows and was not the young man I saw a couple of years ago.

Sure it must be frustrating to have to wait for the IAAF’s jugdement, but still at least his getting a chance.

My opinion: he should not run. All athletes should compete on equal footing. Able vs able and disable vs disable. Oscar should rather redirect is PR into becoming the greatest disabled athlete in his lifetime. Disabled sport gets a lot more publicity in South Africa than athletics. As i said Oscar is being silly!

what does RSA coaching boss Dr Ekkart Arbeit think about Oscar and the chances of him running in Sth Af 4x400?

I wouldn’t know I last saw Ekkart in March.