IAAF dismisses new tests of amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius to get Olympic entry
VALENCIA, Spain -- Double-amputee runner Oscar Pistorius claims new tests on his prosthetic racing limbs contradict an earlier study that led the IAAF to declare him ineligible for the Olympics.
The IAAF, however, doesn't accept the new findings.
"It is really not up to us to judge because we have already made a decision," IAAF spokesman Nick Davies told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Based on tests performed by German professor Gert-Peter Brueggemann, the International Association of Athletics Federations ruled in January that Pistorius is ineligible to run in the Beijing Olympics -- or any other sanctioned able-bodied competitions -- because the South African's "Cheetah" j-shaped blades are "technical aids" that give him an advantage.
But Pistorius commissioned his own tests in Houston last month, and contends they produced different results that could enhance his chance of competing in Beijing.
"I am very optimistic as to the results, they were very positive," Pistorius told the AP in South Africa. "Some were very different to the results from the tests in Germany."
Pistorius also spoke in a television documentary to be aired Wednesday in Britain.
"I'm really excited for the outcome," he said in the program. "I am still hoping that I can make the cutoff to qualify for the Olympic Games but time is tight, and I only have until mid-June I think and I haven't had any able-bodied races."
Davies said the IAAF was sticking to the results of the German study.
"We would stand by what Brueggemann did," he said. "And, as we say repeatedly, on the basis that he agreed on that protocol. He witnessed it, we witnessed it. So going off and doing testing -- who knows where and who knows what -- is not the same."
Pistorius had already appealed the IAAF ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The results of the new tests will form an "integral" part of his case before CAS, said Pistorius' lawyer, Rajen Ranchhoojee.
Ranchhoojee declined to say who conducted the new tests or give any details of the results. He said the Pistorius group did not want to jeopardize his appeal, antagonize the court or create any "sense of expectation."
"We have two parties here and what we need is some objective arbitrators to make a decision," the lawyer said. "They will analyze the tests and make a decision. Whether the tests are done under the IAAF or independently or under the guise of the court doesn't matter, what matters are the results.
"We will do as much as possible to help Oscar achieve his goal. Our belief is that Oscar's blades do not give him an advantage and we hope the court will come to the same conclusion."
The Brueggemann tests found that Pistorius' blades gave him a demonstrable mechanical advantage -- more than 30 percent -- when compared to someone not using the blades.
Brueggemann found Pistorius was able to run at the same speed as able-bodied runners on about a quarter less energy.
Pistorius was born without fibulas -- the long, thin outer bone between the knee and ankle -- and was 11 months old when his legs were amputated below the knee. He began running competitively to treat a rugby injury, and won the 200 meters at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens.
Pistorius finished second in the 400 meters at the South African national championships last year against able-bodied runners.
Celean Jacobson in Johannesburg, South Africa, contributed to this report.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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