No Olympics for Blade Runner

Prosthetics make Pistorius too speedy
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2008 9:25 AM CST
South Africa's Oscar Pistorius cuts the finish line during the 400-meter during the Golden Gala athletics meeting in Rome, in this July 13, 2007 file photo. The IAAF ruled Monday, Jan. 14, 2008, that...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 6 more images

(Newser) – Double amputee Oscar Pistorius won’t compete in the 2008 Olympic Games, because the runner's prosthetic legs give him an unfair advantage, the IAAF ruled this morning. The South African plans to appeal, maintaining that the “cheetah” blades he uses put him on par with the able-bodied, but a German expert's investigation concluded otherwise, the Guardian reports.

Pistorius underwent 2 days of testing along with five able-bodied athletes with similar 400m times. The study found that the blades provided a mechanical edge of over 30%, reducing the energy needed to lift the body and the energy lost in ankle joints. "It is evident that an athlete using the 'Cheetah' prosthetic is able to run at the same speed as able-bodied athletes with lower energy consumption," the IACC concluded.