Sascoc engage with IPC on ‘blades’

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iol news pic pistorius relay REUTERS Oscar Pistorius

London - Representatives from South Africa’s Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) confirmed they had engaged with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to address the specifications and use of prosthetic blades during the 2012 Paralympic Games.

Sascoc CEO Tubby Reddy said on Wednesday he had corresponded with the IPC on behalf of Team South Africa, following Oscar Pistorius' shock defeat and emotional outburst after missing out on the gold medal in the men's T43/44 200 metre track final last Sunday.

“I have engaged with the IPC over the issue of the formula used to determine the legal and acceptable height of athletes, related to the length of his/her competition prostheses, to gain an unfair advantage,” Reddy said.

“Concerns were also raised over the performances and results of athletes prior to the Games, with different sets of competition prosthesis, used prior to and at this event.

“We requested urgent intervention and feedback by the IPC within these Games on the matters that we have raised.”

Reddy also said that at the conclusion of the Paralympic Games, South Africa’s National Paralympic Committee would be engaging with the IPC on further research and studies in order to arrive at an informed decision that would be fair and just for athletes with a disability worldwide.

Pistorius had himself raised his own concerns on the subject prior to losing his T44 200m title on Sunday to Brazil's Alan Oliveira.

The emotional 25-year-old star, the most high-profile athlete at the London Games after he became the first double-amputee to compete at the Olympics last month, claimed after the race that his fellow competitors were “a lot taller” and he was unable to compete with their lengthy strides.

Pistorius said he had raised the issue with the IPC but it had fallen “on deaf ears”.

He later apologised for the timing of the comments but not the content.

The IPC said they would meet the sprinter to discuss his concerns but insisted that all eight finalists' prostheses, which have to be proportional to body length, were within the rules.

The governing body on Tuesday said they would not be taking disciplinary action against the sprinter for his comments. - Sapa



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