[Supertraining] Re: Oscar Pistorius - “a considerable advantage”?

Wednesday, 16 January 2008      0 comments

Here's a press release from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) regarding the
recent report from the IAAF:

> Subject: IPC Position Statement on IAAFs Commissioned Research on Oscar Pistorius
> From: Press-Releases@paralympic.org
> The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) offers the following position statement in
light of the recent media attention generated by a scientific study initiated by the
International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) that reports that sprint
performance with Cheetah prostheses offers clear mechanical advantages compared to the
sprint performance of able-bodied athletes who are capable of similar levels of
> · As a Paralympic Athlete, South African Oscar Pistorius is seeking a new competitive
horizon and these aspirations have propelled him into competition with some of the
fastest athletes in the world.
> · The IPC is highly supportive of Oscar's superb achievement as an elite athlete, an
attribute he shares with many Paralympic athletes who compete at the highest levels of
sporting excellence. We also recognize the right of Oscar and all other athletes to question
the rules and regulations that impact their performance.
> · In July 2007, the IAAF invited Oscar to undergo biomechanical and exercise
physiological analysis, in an effort to collect scientific data on the impact of prosthetics on
athlete running performance and to assess whether their use contravenes used IAAF
competition rule 144.2 which prohibits the use of technical aids by athletes during
> · The tests held on 12 to 13 November 2007 at the German Sports University in Cologne,
Germany, were commissioned by the IAAF. The IPC was not involved in the research
> · After receiving and reviewing the official report, the IPC acknowledges the scientific
validity of the tests conducted and the outcome of the research project. However, the use
of an assistive device should not only be considered in solely biomechanical terms. It is
recommended that further investigations take into consideration other aspects such as an
examination of the energy loss or generation of the corresponding knee and hip joints as
well as the impact of the amputation site contact with the prostheses.
> · The IPC acknowledges the autonomy of the IAAF to interpret and make decisions
impacting their federation's competitions based on their initiative to obtain these results.
> · Furthermore, the IPC recognizes that each International Sport Federation has the right
to define the eligibility and sport equipment rules governing its competitions, including
the Olympic Games, to ensure fair competition for all athletes.
> · However, equipment plays a critical role in many sports. Equipment evolves and it is
the responsibility of international federations like the IPC and the IAAF to stay abreast of
these developments. Rules, regulations and performance standards must be developed to
ensure that equipment is safe, fair and universally accessible for athletes to achieve
standards of excellence.
> · The IPC is seeking to further collaborate with all relevant parties to ensure that the
right approach is taken to establishing rules and regulations that promote fair competition
including with regard to the application of sports equipment.

Just a reminder, the text above was published by the International Paralympic Committe,
not me. I don't consider myself informed enough to hold an informed opinion on this


John Stevens
Ardmore, PA

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