Should prosthetics be banned from IAAF sanctioned events such as the Olympics? IAAF officials think so.
The proposed 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 in the shoes of top athletes to make them run faster. But it would also cover the prostheses used by Pistorius.
This and other proposed rule changes will be submitted to the full IAAF Congress at its Aug. 22-23 meeting in Osaka, Japan, on the eve of the world championships.
I am not sure what I think about this. On the one hand, I don’t think that an amputee should be barred from competition. On the other hand, I can see the point of view of the IAAF and why they want this rule in place. What I wonder is whether prosthetics can be designed that would still allow an athlete to compete without bending or breaking the new rules, while at the same time not giving them an unfair disadvantage. Not having one or two of their legs is already enough of a disadvantage, I would think.