Official's Knock Irks Amputee Sprinter

Lawyers threaten after IAAF rep urges Olympic exclusion over safety
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2008 2:02 PM CDT
South Africa's double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius is seen at the start of the men's 400 meters race.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
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(Newser) – Lawyers for double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius responded aggressively after a track and field official recommended South Africa exclude him from its Olympic relay squad "for reasons of safety," the New York Times reports. Pistorius, 23, “reserves all rights and remedies” if track's governing body doesn't retract, noting that a sports court has affirmed Pistorius right to run—if he qualifies or is selected.

After Pistorius threatened legal action, an IAAF rep said, “It is one of the few events where there is physical contact between athletes. You are jostling, crouched down at the line waiting for the baton in a group lined up hip to hip.” Pistorius will try again tonight to qualify for the 400 meters.