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Iaaf Wants Amputee Ban

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Hmmm. Now thuis is an interesting dilemma. What do people here think?

PARIS, May 31, 2007 (AFP) - Athletics governing body the IAAF has proposed a new technical equipment rule that would effectively ban South African amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius from taking part in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The 20-year-old from Pretoria has set competitive times in the 100 metres, 200 metres and 400 metres although he had both legs amputated below the knee when less than a year old because of a congenital condition.

A former rugby and water-polo player, Pistorius uses high-tech, J-shaped carbon-fibre blades which are fixed to his legs just under the knees.

He managed third in the 100m at the 2004 Paralympics in the T44 category and won the 200m in a time of 21.97sec although he fell in the heats.

In 2005, Pistorius was sixth in the 400m at the South African championships and he is set on becoming the first amputee runner to compete in the Olympics next year in China possibly in his country's relay team.

However the IAAF stands in his way ruling that the special blades are an unfair advantage and it's executive council has put forward a proposal which would mean they could not be used.

Under the proposal, athletes would be banned from using ``any technical device that incorporates springs, wheels or any other element that provides the user with an advantage over another athlete not using such a device.''

My initial feeeling is that the IAAF are probably right _ yes, he may be competitive against fully able-bodied runners, but just how much of that is his own talent and how much his carbon fibre blades? I'm sorry, it may not be politically correct to say so, but this is what the paralympics are for.

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