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South African Double Amputee Barred From Competing in Olympics

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Interesting article. Oscar Pistorius wants to compete against non-disabled individuals.

Quote:
BRUSSELS, Belgium — 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. ....


What do you think. Should he be allowed to compete? What if it was on other prosthetics?

Here is a clip of him.

post #2 of 21
The ruling makes sense, IMO. Considering the sorry state of pro-sports re doping and to what athletes are ready to subject themselves, I can only shudder when thinking of what "enhanced" competitors may look like. A line has to be drawn.
Now, I understand it's harsh for the guy, especialy since he's going to be barred from the paralympics as well.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
It doesn't affect the Paralympics.

Quote:
.... The ruling does not affect Pistorius' eligibility for Paralympic events, in which he was a gold medalist in Athens in 2004. ....
Also, it appears just to be for the specific blades he is using. So, hopefully there can be some middle ground for this. Perhaps using another type of prosthetic.
post #4 of 21
I read in another article, in french, that his eligibility for paralympics was now questioned, on the basis of the IAAF ruling and of an unfair advantage. But that may be wrong.
post #5 of 21

..in "Other Sports"?

Isn't this in an Organized Competition? I Do enjoy reading this but this should be in an "Organized Sport" type of category shouldn't it?
post #6 of 21
Thanks for posting this. I'm completely unqualified to say anything about this, but this guy sure seems like a heck of an athlete and I hope he is able to compete in as many venues as possible.

The idea of a technical advantage would be incredibly hard to prove/disprove it seems to me. I hope they are able to settle on some rules or standard "blades" that are fair. I can see where avoiding an "arms race" is a worthy concern, and in any sport where gear is involved that is always going to be a difficult task.
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Square View Post
It doesn't affect the Paralympics.



Also, it appears just to be for the specific blades he is using. So, hopefully there can be some middle ground for this. Perhaps using another type of prosthetic.
A runner on artificial shins, ankles, and feet will never be the equal to a runner on human limbs.

He may be faster, or slower, but he will never be "the same."

No matter what tests show, if a runner on artificial ankles and feet wins a gold medal in an Olympic sprinting event, it will be a sad day indeed.

I did read that a bunch of Olympic runners began regretting their voluntary amputations after the ruling was released.
post #8 of 21
I've got to agree with the ruling.

A family friend voluntarily had his leg amputated below the knee after dealing with debilitating pain and irreversible leg damage due to an industrial accident. He has several prosthetics, mostly due to the ever changing stump, plus he tends to be hard on them (hauling wood, fishing, hunting). None of them look remotely like this, and he can still run at the same pace prior to his accident.

Could Pistorius compete on a traditional prosthetic?
post #9 of 21
I can't say I disagree with the ruling, I just think it would be great if all parties could come up with a system that allows diversity in the competition while ensuring it is fair. That might not be practical.

Does "fair" mean he needs to run on a traditional prosthetic that puts him at what I assume stupidly knowing nothing about this to be a large disadvantage, or does it just mean he should be on devices that don't make it possible for him to destroy world records?
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by HaveSkisWillClimb View Post
Isn't this in an Organized Competition? I Do enjoy reading this but this should be in an "Organized Sport" type of category shouldn't it?
IMO The only reason to have a separate forum would be to eliminate currently active threads from being knocked off the bottom of the page. There are far too few posts and readers in General Sports as it is.
post #11 of 21
I agree with the ruling. However, if all the runners had the same devices it would seem fair.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post
I agree with the ruling. However, if all the runners had the same devices it would seem fair.
They have that, and it's called the Paralympics.
post #13 of 21

my .02

I studied this case last year in my biomechanics class in college. The prosthetics he uses are considered unfair because they are more effective than a humans legs. Garrett, it is not very difficult to prove (mathematically) that what he runs are are more efficient that a human leg. They allow for more energy transfer (recoil/springs however you want to look at it) than the joints of the leg and foot. I think he is a tremendous athlete but until they develop a prosthetic that has the same characteristics as a human leg I don't think he should be able to compete. I personally would love to see him race but I don't think its fair to the other competitors.
On a similar discussion, there is now a new speedo suite that is going to be banned from the swimming events. Basically technology is allowing athletes to SHATTER old world records when the actual athletes wouldn't necessarily be able to on their own. The suite provides some bouyancy in the water, which I guess is against the rules. However I don't know how this is any different than using $10,000+ bikes to race in the tour de france or one racer having a better car in NASCAR or nice golf clubs/balls in the U.S. Open. Technology is advancing and the sports should allow it as long as every athlete has the ability to use the technology. With that said, I don't want to see desperate track stars cutting their legs off to improve their 100 yrd dash time.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by drewski180 View Post
Garrett, it is not very difficult to prove (mathematically) that what he runs are are more efficient that a human leg.
OK, but how do you delineate the point at which a prosthetic is exactly as "efficient" (not really the right term to use, "effective" might be a better catch-all) as a human leg? That would be incredibly hard IMO.

I suppose I tend to agree with you. I don't really see any obvious way for this to be done without some set of competitors deeming it unfair.
post #15 of 21
No two human limbs are 100% identically efficient.

The moment you have some "standard efficiency" for replacement appendages, you give advantages to people who had less efficient appendages before appendage replacement.

I'm sorry, but in the field of competitive running, no artificial leg will ever be the exact equivalent of human legs. The moment someone with artificial legs wins an Olympic gold medal, the question would be forever raised as to whether it was fair or not.
post #16 of 21

what was his time for the event?

just curious. the only thing good about this olympics so far is a little attention to the plight of the tibetans.
post #17 of 21
His personal best for the 100m is 10.91 seconds, and 21.58s for the 200m.

That 100m time, in general, is well over half a second slower than you'd need to do to make it past the first heat in the Olympics. It would have been, by over 0.2 seconds, the slowest recorded time of all 31 contestants at the 2006 US Track and Field Championships preliminaries.

The 200m time wouldn't have gotten him past the preliminaries either. He would have tied for 20th out of the 21 competitors who finished.

He's more than one full second off Olympic and World record paces in the 100m and more than two full seconds off Olympic and World record paces in the 200m.
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnythan View Post
No two human limbs are 100% identically efficient.

The moment you have some "standard efficiency" for replacement appendages, you give advantages to people who had less efficient appendages before appendage replacement.

I'm sorry, but in the field of competitive running, no artificial leg will ever be the exact equivalent of human legs. The moment someone with artificial legs wins an Olympic gold medal, the question would be forever raised as to whether it was fair or not.
What he said.
And therein lies the difference with the Speedo swimsuit.
The swimsuit is available for anyone and does not pose an intrusion or altrication of the human body (just like a 400.000 $ road bike or a pair of good running shoes).
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schussboelie View Post
And therein lies the difference with the Speedo swimsuit. The swimsuit is available for anyone and does not pose an intrusion or altrication of the human body (just like a 400.000 $ road bike or a pair of good running shoes).
You think a swimsuit that provides bouyancy is fair? Have you ever swam before? Not sinking is a key part of it. A suit providing floatation in the right places enables the swimmer to stay in proper form easier than without the suit -- critical to swimming fast, and a tremendous aid in the distance events especially.

Maybe if I super glue my a$$ to a horse, and get a doctors note to say I need my a$$ glued to a horse for medical reasons, I could compete in the Olympics and win.

Not criticizing the guy...he could beat me in a race without his prosthetics.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
You think a swimsuit that provides bouyancy is fair? Have you ever swam before? Not sinking is a key part of it. A suit providing floatation in the right places enables the swimmer to stay in proper form easier than without the suit -- critical to swimming fast, and a tremendous aid in the distance events especially.
Yes I think it's fair.
Anyone can get into one of those.
It's a piece of external hardware, just like a racecar or a bicycle or a ski.
Prosthetics are something else all together, they make out an integral part of the body.
post #21 of 21
The Olympic committee is deeply interested in not letting the Olympic Games become a competition about technology.

The Olympics isn't NASCAR. The cars change every year and no one brags about world record times at Talladega. The Tour de France route changes every time it's run. The swimming and track and field competitions in the Olympics are designed to be extremely standardized and current results are generally directly comparable to results from, say, 1932.
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