Should Oscar Pistorius be allowed to compete in the Olympics? - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Lemonade Stand > Lemonade Stand Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-14-2008, 11:45 AM   #1
Refugee
 
europop2005's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,420
Local Time: 10:52 PM
Should Oscar Pistorius be allowed to compete in the Olympics?

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- The IAAF ruled Monday that double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius is ineligible to compete in the Beijing Olympics because his prosthetic racing legs give him a clear competitive advantage.

The International Association of Athletics Federations had twice postponed the ruling, but the executive Council said the South African runner's curved, prosthetic "Cheetah" blades were considered a technical aid in violation of the rules.

"As a result, Oscar Pistorius is ineligible to compete in competitions organized under IAAF rules," the IAAF said in a statement from Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Pistorius, known as the "blade runner," announced last week that he planned to appeal any adverse decision, including taking the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Athletics South Africa said it would immediately apply the decision, further complicating Pistorius' future since he will not be able to set legal Olympic qualifying times in his own country.

"That's a huge blow," said Pistorius' manager, Peet Van Zyl. "He has been competing in South African abled-bodied competition for the past three years. At this stage it looks like he is out of any able-bodied event."

The decision was reached in an e-mail vote by the 27-member IAAF Council. The vote count was not disclosed but was believed to be unanimous.

The IAAF endorsed studies by German professor Gert-Peter Brueggemann, who conducted tests on the prosthetic limbs and said they give Pistorius a clear competitive advantage over able-bodied runners.

"An athlete using this prosthetic blade has a demonstrable mechanical advantage (more than 30 percent) when compared to someone not using the blade," the IAAF said.

The federation said Pistorius had been allowed to compete in some able-bodied events until now because his case was so unique that such artificial protheses had not been properly studied.

"We did not have the science," IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said. "Now we have the science. We are only interested in competitions that we govern."

Davies stressed the findings only covered Pistorius' specific blades and did not necessarily mean that all lesser-abled athletes would automatically be excluded.

The ruling does not affect Pistorius' eligibility for Paralympic events, in which he was a gold medalist in Athens in 2004.

"It's unfortunate because he could have boosted team athletics at the Olympics at Beijing, because he had the potential to qualify," said Leonard Chuene, president of Athletics South Africa.

Chuene said the federation would respect the ruling.

"There's not much we can do," he said. "It rules him out with immediate effect. We use the IAAF rule book. If we had our rules and our own competition, it would be easier. It is a huge problem."

Pistorius finished second in the 400 meters at the South African National Championships last year against able-bodied runners.

The runner worked with Brueggemann in Cologne for two days of testing in November to learn to what extent the j-shaped carbon-fiber extensions to his amputated legs differed from the legs of fully abled runners.

Brueggemann found that Pistorius was able to run at the same speed as able bodied runners on about a quarter less energy. He found that once the runners hit a certain stride, athletes with artificial limbs needed less additional energy than other athletes.

The professor found that the returned energy "from the prosthetic blade is close to three times higher than with the human ankle joint in maximum sprinting."

Based on these findings, the Council ruled against Pistorius.

The findings are contested by the Pistorius camp.

"Based on the feedback that we got, the general feeling was that there were a lot of variables that weren't taken into consideration and that all avenues hadn't been explored in terms of coming to a final conclusion on whether Oscar was getting some advantage or not," Van Zyl said. "We were hoping that they would reconsider and hopefully do some more tests."

The IAAF adopted a rule last summer prohibiting the use of any "technical aids" deemed to give an athlete an advantage over another.

Ossur, the Icelandic company which is a leader in the production of prosthetics, braces and supports and also made Pistorius' blades, has said the blades do not provide an edge over able-bodied athletes.

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

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

Pistorius competed in the 400 at two international-level able-bodied meets in 2007. He finished second in a B race in 46.90 seconds at the Golden League meet in Rome on July 13 and, two days later, was disqualified for running out of his lane in Sheffield, England.
__________________

__________________
europop2005 is offline  
Old 01-14-2008, 11:53 AM   #2
Blue Crack Distributor
 
Headache in a Suitcase's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Stateless
Posts: 56,420
Local Time: 09:52 PM
eh... that's a tough one. i mean you don't want to deny someone anything based on a disability, but if scientific tests prove that he gets a clear advantage because of the blades... you've got me on this one. i have no clue.
__________________

__________________
Headache in a Suitcase is online now  
Old 01-14-2008, 12:19 PM   #3
Breakdancing Soul Pilgrim
 
UberBeaver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: the most serious...douch hammer ever
Posts: 20,318
Local Time: 09:52 PM
It's strange to say a guy born without fibulas has an unfair advantage, but in this case, it seems so. I would say no. But I'd hate to be the one that had to explain it to him. Where's Oscar Goldman when you need him?
__________________
UberBeaver is offline  
Old 01-14-2008, 01:20 PM   #4
Blue Crack Distributor
 
Headache in a Suitcase's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Stateless
Posts: 56,420
Local Time: 09:52 PM
it would sorta suck to lose a race to a guy with no legs.
__________________
Headache in a Suitcase is online now  
Old 01-14-2008, 04:36 PM   #5
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
speedracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: MD
Posts: 7,572
Local Time: 09:52 PM
Can't the guy be refitted with a new set of Olympics-spec prosthetic legs?
__________________
speedracer is offline  
Old 01-14-2008, 10:36 PM   #6
Blue Crack Addict
 
DaveC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: illegitimi non carborundum
Posts: 17,410
Local Time: 09:52 PM
Not a chance this guy should be in the Olympics unless they start also allowing able-bodied athletes into the Paralympics.
__________________
DaveC is offline  
Old 01-15-2008, 12:40 AM   #7
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Canadiens1131's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 10,363
Local Time: 10:52 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by DaveC
Not a chance this guy should be in the Olympics unless they start also allowing able-bodied athletes into the Paralympics.
Exactly right.
__________________
Canadiens1131 is offline  
Old 01-15-2008, 02:48 AM   #8
ONE
love, blood, life
 
indra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 12,689
Local Time: 10:52 PM
I would think not having sensation below your knees would negate any advantage the artificial limbs would give him. I do think it's great the technology has advanced so far that there is actually concern that an athlete would have an advantage with them.
__________________
indra is offline  
Old 01-15-2008, 03:24 AM   #9
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
speedracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: MD
Posts: 7,572
Local Time: 09:52 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by indra
I would think not having sensation below your knees would negate any advantage the artificial limbs would give him. I do think it's great the technology has advanced so far that there is actually concern that an athlete would have an advantage with them.
Yeah, but he also doesn't feel pain, cramps, lactic acid buildup, etc. in his lower legs.
__________________
speedracer is offline  
Old 01-15-2008, 11:40 AM   #10
Blue Crack Distributor
 
Headache in a Suitcase's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Stateless
Posts: 56,420
Local Time: 09:52 PM
look it's a fantastic story and all but eventually there needs to be a line drawn regarding the technology.

if the guy had wheels and a jetpack on, we certainly wouldn't let him compete. if the technology that he's using shows that he has a clear advantage, dispite having, ya know, no legs and all, then he shouldn't be able to compete.
__________________
Headache in a Suitcase is online now  
Old 01-15-2008, 04:07 PM   #11
Blue Crack Addict
 
DaveC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: illegitimi non carborundum
Posts: 17,410
Local Time: 09:52 PM
Who gives a rat's ass about "competitive advantage"?

He has the ability to compete in the Paralympics. Whether he blows away the competition there or not means nothing.

If an able-bodied athlete tried to petition to enter the Paralympics for whatever reason, he'd be shot down before the IOC even looked at the reasons why, and the Paralympic community would be (rightfully) outraged. So the fact that this guy has even gotten this far that his request is being taken seriously astounds me. PC taken to the extreme.
__________________
DaveC is offline  
Old 01-15-2008, 04:37 PM   #12
ONE
love, blood, life
 
indra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 12,689
Local Time: 10:52 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by DaveC
Who gives a rat's ass about "competitive advantage"?

He has the ability to compete in the Paralympics. Whether he blows away the competition there or not means nothing.

If an able-bodied athlete tried to petition to enter the Paralympics for whatever reason, he'd be shot down before the IOC even looked at the reasons why, and the Paralympic community would be (rightfully) outraged. So the fact that this guy has even gotten this far that his request is being taken seriously astounds me. PC taken to the extreme.
That's an interesting position.

What about glasses or contacts?

Before you scoff, think about it. Blind athletes compete in the paralympics, so why should an athlete with severe but correctable (or mostly correctable) vision problems be allowed to wear contacts or glasses and compete in the regular Olympics? Shouldn't that person be required to suck it up, not wear glasses or contacts to compete and go for the Paralypics? Shouldn't the Olympics be for athletes with no corrective devices whatsoever? I mean fair is fair.
__________________
indra is offline  
Old 01-15-2008, 09:21 PM   #13
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Canadiens1131's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 10,363
Local Time: 10:52 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by indra


That's an interesting position.

What about glasses or contacts?

Before you scoff, think about it. Blind athletes compete in the paralympics, so why should an athlete with severe but correctable (or mostly correctable) vision problems be allowed to wear contacts or glasses and compete in the regular Olympics? Shouldn't that person be required to suck it up, not wear glasses or contacts to compete and go for the Paralypics? Shouldn't the Olympics be for athletes with no corrective devices whatsoever? I mean fair is fair.
Apples and oranges. Your argument regarding vision correction does not impact the physical speed or biomechanics of the athlete in track and field.

Vision correction != prosthetic limbs.

Now if this was 2050, and some blind guy with infrared super nanotech implanted eyes wanted to compete in the skeet shoot in the regular Olympics, yeah, we'd have an issue.
__________________

__________________
Canadiens1131 is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:52 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com