A month ago, I asked whether prosthetics should be banned from international competition in the wake of a proposed rule change by the IAAF. I then fleshed out my own thoughts after being accused of supporting the ban and deciding that I did in fact support the ban on prosthetics.
The IAAF has since changed their stance and decided to allow Oscar Pistorius to compete until they have had a chance to decide whether or not he does have an advantage.
IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said the organisation was going to take it upon itself to work with Pistorius to conduct scientific research and tests on the runner and his prosthetics. Davies said one of the aims was developing criteria on prosthetics and other aides.
Pistorius [...] is adamant his blades give him no advantage or extra energy and that his stride is no longer than anyone else’s. “They are passive devices,” he said. “If anything I am at more of a disadvantage. I have no ankles. There is less blood flowing through my body. I have no calf muscles so I have to use more muscles to do what they would. These exact feet have been used for 14 years and there has never been a paralympic sprinter to run my times.”
I think that the IAAF has found a very fair and equitable middle ground that should appease everybody. I hope that Oscar does manage to run some times fast enough to qualify for the Olympics and forces this issue to remain at the fore front. I hope that they determine that he is not aided, and that he does qualify and is allowed to run. If they determine that he is aided and don’t allow him to run, it will be that much more cruel, but if he doesn’t qualify then this issue will probably get swept up under the rug and forgotten for another 10 or 15 years. That would be a shame.