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06-04-2007, 06:33 AM
Oscar's Olympic Dream May be Dashed

Oscar's Olympic Dream May be Dashed
June 01, 2007 Edition 1
The Mercury

MONTE CARLO: The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)
proposed a rule yesterday that would make it impossible for a South
African amputee sprinter to compete at the Beijing Olympics.

Oscar Pistorius, 20, wants to run in Beijing, despite having both legs
amputated below the knee. With high-technology replacement blades attached
just under his knees, he has set competitive times at national level in
the 400m, 200m and 100m sprints.

But IAAF officials consider the blades an artificial aid, and its
executive council proposed a new rule which would outlaw them. The rule
would prohibit "use of 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".

The rule was originally meant to ban sophisticated gadgets that
manufacturers add to the shoes of top athletes. But it would also cover
the prostheses used by Pistorius.

That and other proposed rule changes will be submitted to the full IAAF
congress at its August 22-23 meeting in Japan.


The complete article may be read at the URL above.

This is a link to a prior Net-Gold post regarding this development.

An Amputee Sprinter: Is He Disabled or Too-Abled?

In late April a prominent sneaker manufacturer filed suit against the
IAAF International Association of Athletics Federations.

Sneaker maker files suit over ban on its shoes
Sunday, April 29, 2007
North Jersey.com

A shorter URL for the above link:

"Track and field has always embraced innovation," Krafsur said recently .
"We're jumping with fiberglass poles, not bamboo. We run on very springy
tracks, not cinders. We run in very sophisticated racing spikes as opposed
to leather straps like 'Chariots of Fire.' "

Why can't we compete, Krafsur wonders, with springs in our shoes?

Banned in races

As North Jersey runners descend upon Long Branch for the New Jersey
Marathon this morning, Krafsur is busy waging war with the International
Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) and USA Track and Field
(USATF). Both organizations prohibit runners from competing in shoes with

Any runner who wins a race governed by either organization's guidelines
while wearing Spira running shoes is subject to disqualification.

"I have read about the shoe, but till now it has not come up with regard
to our New Jersey Marathon," race director Art Castellano wrote in an
e-mail. "Since we are not a [money] marathon, it may not be a factor, but
if the USATF is opposed to it and we are under the auspices of that
organization, we are also opposed to this shoe at this time."

Other race directors echo that opinion. So Krafsur, a 45-year-old lawyer
with a size-9 foot, decided it was time to fire back. Earlier this month,
he filed an antitrust lawsuit in U.S. District Court, suing the IAAF and
USATF for $10 million. He believes their policies governing shoes with
spring technologies have fostered a "restraint of competition." According
to the lawsuit, "the concern by athletes is so great that most elite
runners are unwilling to race in Spira footwear."


Read more at the URL immediately above.

David Dillard
Temple University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
(215) 204 - 4584

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