Olympics 2008 News
Pistorius welcome at Olympics if he qualifies, IOC says
By John Bagratuni Aug 26, 2011, 6:28 GMT
Daegu, South Korea - South African double amputee runner Oscar Pistorius is welcome to compete at the London 2012 Olympics if he is declared eligible and qualifies, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge said on Friday.
Rogge told a news conference on the eve of the world athletics championships that the decision to let Pistorius compete is not with the IOC, but with the ruling athletics body IAAF and his country's Olympic Committee.
'We need a certificate of eligibility from the IAAF. He has to qualify by the standard of the IAAF and his Olympic Committee,' Rogge said after a joint meeting of the IAAF council and the IOC executive board in Daegu.
The 'Blade Runner' Pistorius recently ran a personal best 45.07 seconds in the 400m to qualify for his first global able-bodied event in Daegu after failing to qualify for the 2008 Olympics and 2009 worlds.
He was originally barred from competing by the IAAF but the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that the blades he uses do not give him an unfair advantage. The CAS also said the IAAF has the right to further review his blades.
'We decided to let him take part. We will see what the result will be,' said IAAF president Lamine Diack.
'It will be up to us to decide whether he can compete in London 2012, and whether he can do the Paralympics and Olympics.'
Diack said the IAAF spoke out only one condition, that Pistorius must run the opening leg if he also participates in the 4x400m relay. The opening leg is the only one run in lanes and the IAAF considers his blades too dangerous for opponents once the runners all switch to the inside lane after 500m.
The IAAF president did not want to dwell on the moral aspects of Pistorius' appearance at the worlds, saying simply: 'He fulfils the conditions, that's it.'
A thorough review is expected after Daegu and German IAAF council member Helmut Digel said that 'the last word is not spoken.'
'The question is how our athletics is conducted and how that of the disabled is conducted,' Digel told the German Press Agency dpa.
Digel named Pistorius' performances 'outstanding' and insisted any rules on the issue had nothing to do with discrimination but simply with clearly defining the laws of the sport.
'If we say you need two feet and shoes (to compete) it is not about discrimination,' Digel said.
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