Fri, September 20, 2013

Outspoken Pistorius escapes punishment

Questioned legitimacy of his 200m defeat

By REUTERS


Brazil's Alan Oliveira (R) shakes hands with South Africa's Oscar Pistorius after winning the Men's 200m T44 classification at the Olympic Stadium during the London 2012 Paralympic Games September 2, 2012. Pistorius complained vociferously about the length of his opponent's blades after he was beaten into second by Brazil's Oliveira in the men's 200 metres final at the London Paralympic Games on Sunday. (REUTERS)


Oscar Pistorius will face no disciplinary action over his outburst following defeat in the men's 200 meters final, Paralympic organizers said on Tuesday.

Moments after losing to Brazil's Alan Oliveira on Sunday, his first 200m defeat in nine years, Pistorius used a post-race interview to question the legitimacy of his defeat.

"We're not racing a fair race here," he said. "The regulations say that you can make yourself unbelievably high. I think Alan's an unbelievable athlete, but I don't think you can come from eight metres behind to win. If you look at videos from last year, Alan was shorter than me but now he's taller than me. I don't take away from their performances. I think they're great athletes, but it's clear that these guys have very long strides."

Pistorius, dubbed the "Blade Runner", suggested that his opponent's prosthetics were too long which had artificially lengthened his stride, giving him an unfair advantage.

"There will be no disciplinary action against Oscar for his comments," International Paralympic Committee (IPC) director of communications Craig Spence told reporters on Tuesday.

Pistorius apologized for the timing of his comments in a statement on Monday, but maintained there was still a fundamental issue about the length of athletes' prosthetics that needed to be addressed.

Pistorius met with Paralympic officials in the immediate aftermath of his defeat when it was decided a further meeting would take place to discuss his concerns.

"We decided we needed to go through the official channels rather than just sending an informal text message saying let's meet," Spence added.

"So we are waiting for the national Paralympic Committee of South Africa to go through the relevant channels and contact the IPC and then a meeting will be set up."

Pistorius, who was defending his 100m, 200m and 400m titles, streaked into an early lead and was almost 10 meters ahead as the athletes came into the home straight but the Brazilian launched a stunning fightback and surged to victory.

IPC rules governing the length of prosthetics are determined by a complicated formula that involves measuring from the chest to the amputated limb and the arm span.

This is converted into a height prediction and a maximal height is used to assess the length of prosthetics.

Immediately after the race, the IPC confirmed that Oliveira's blades fell within the legal limits.

Pistorius continues his Paralympic campaign on Wednesday in the 100m heats, with the 400m and 4x400m relay to follow later in the week.