View Full Version : Re: Oscar Pistorius

05-20-2008, 04:04 AM
As sort of a side note to everyone else's excellent comments, I had a more
specific question:

Was there an exact criteria established by this scientific group for how to
evaluate "advantage?" Specifically, If I heard correctly sprint advantages
were lowly weighted or ignored and the metabolic efficiency was thought to
predominate, and it was determined he did not have an advantage for a 400 m

1) Assuming there was a numerical calculation, was this calculated
specifically for Mr. Pistorius's anthropometry? Wouldn't such a calculation
need to be customized for each petitioner and their proposed prosthetic?

2) I know the argument was prepared for his specific prosthetic, but was the
criteria defined clearly enough that the prosthetic manufacturer could know
how much he could redesign (masses, spring rates) without slipping over into
"advantage?" Could there be an "advantage" standard applied the way some
jockey/ horses are required to add weight in certain types of races to
"normalize" the race?

3) Would the criteria be easy to re-weight for runner/ prosthetic advantage
over different distances, especially as sprinting becomes more of a factor?

Terry O'Bannon
Principal Engineer, Occupant Biomechanics
Lear Corporation, Seating Systems Division
21557 Telegraph Road
Southfield, MI 48033
E: tobannon@lear.com
T: 248.447.4123

-----Original Message-----
From: * Biomechanics and Movement Science listserver
[mailto:BIOMCH-L@NIC.SURFNET.NL] On Behalf Of Alena Grabowski
Sent: Monday, May 19, 2008 8:47 PM
Subject: [BIOMCH-L] Oscar Pistorius

We, the scientific group that has refuted the claims of the IAAF, believe
that it is relevant to make the following points based on recent commentary
from the Biomch-L list regarding the CAS's ruling to overturn the IAAF's
decision that banned Oscar Pistorius from international able-bodied

1. The work conducted by our group was done pro bono. None of us received
compensation for our research or participation in the hearing. The legal
team selected our group from many other willing scientists. All of us were
screened and cleared for any potential conflicts of interest by the lawyers.
In addition, Rodger Kram and Hugh Herr were judged to not have any conflict
of interest by the CAS court.
2. Our group of scientists was asked to evaluate the scientific claims made
by the IAAF that resulted in the banning of Oscar Pistorius.
3. We evaluated the claims by using data from the literature, as well as our
own data collected at Rice University.
4. As Ton has stated, this ruling applies only to Oscar and to the Cheetah
prosthetics, thus any new prosthetic running technology will have to be
re-evaluated before being allowed in IAAF competition.
5. We plan to publish the data that we have collected in a peer- reviewed
journal as soon as possible.
6. We hope that the interest in the Oscar Pistorius case will result in a
number of further studies into questions regarding the biomechanical and
energetic effects of prosthetics on human walking and running.

Our group includes Drs. Hugh Herr, Peter Weyand, Rodger Kram, Matthew
Bundle, Craig McGowan, and Alena Grabowski.

Alena Grabowski, PhD
Postdoctoral Associate
Biomechatronics Laboratory
MIT Media Lab