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Running Blades: Pistorius told to back claims with evidence by IPC

Channels Television  
Updated September 5, 2012

Sprint star Oscar Pistorious’s claim about the length of his rivals’ artificial running blades has been thrown out by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) saying there is no substance to the allegations.

The media and communications director for the IPC; Craig Spence said at a news conference in London on Wednesday that there is no evidence that any athlete competed on different size running blades, unless South Africa can come up with some evidence that proves otherwise, but aside that the IPC won’t continue investigation.

It was reported that South Africa had made a formal complaint raising Pistorius’s claims he was at a disadvantage in the T44 200m final because other runners were a lot taller and he could not compete with their stride length.

Pistorius’s defeat to Brazil’s Alan Oliveira was his first defeat in a 200m in nine years and means he will now not retain the three sprint titles he won in Beijing.

The 25-year-old – the most high-profile athlete at the Games after he became the first double-amputee to compete at the Olympics last month – said he had raised the issue with the IPC but it had fallen “on deaf ears”.

He later apologised for the timing of the comments but not the substance.

Spence said they had spoken to national team coaches and found no evidence to back up the claims.

Swapping blades mid-competition is currently against the rules.

Spence said Games organisers contacted all national Paralympic committees in April this year and asked them to highlight any concerns about the rules but no issues were raised by South Africa.

The IPC has said all athletes’ prostheses, which have to be in proportion to the length of their body, were measured on Sunday and no infringements were found.