Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee sprinter who was barred from able-bodied competition in January, will be allowed to pursue his dream of qualifying for the Olympic Games after an unexpected decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The Court, an international panel which has final say over legal matters in sport, overturned the International Association of Athletics Federations’ ban, ruling in effect that Pistorius' carbon fiber prosthetic blades do not give him an unfair advantage.Originally, Pistorius' prosthetics were found to be "more efficient than a human ankle," giving him an unfair advantage. But his attorneys argued that the original investigation failed to consider "the issue of Oscar’s overall net advantage or disadvantage," an eminently reasonable argument, IMO. After all, we've all heard our whole lives how physical ability is only one part of being a successful athlete, and how vitally important attitude, self-perception, the ability to visualize winning, etc. etc. etc. are. Surely, what affect being a double-amputee competing against able-bodied athletes—and knowing there will always be people who think he doesn't belong there—has on the psychological component of Pistorius' game can't be measured, for good or ill.
In the past, I.A.A.F. spokesman Nick Davies has insisted that these matters can only be treated on a case by case basis with the burden of proof on the athletes to show that the prosthetics do not provide an unfair advantage.Right on.
"Unless there is adequate evidence to support that determination," [Pistorius' attorney] said. "Then the disabled should be allowed to compete."