The IAAF has banned blade-running Oscar Pistorius from the Bejing Olympic Games, because according to a study, his prosthetics offer “unfair advantage”.
It is a very sad, and very wrong decision. Sad, because it could have been an emotionally-charged August afternoon in Beijing, seeing Pistorius compete with people whose legs have not been amputated at 11 months of age. A truly epoch-defining, world-uniting happening.
It is wrong, because Pistorius’ would have been the only publicly-declared “unfair advantage”, whilst performance-enhancing drug use is still so widespread. The underlying premises for the decision sound quite peculiar too: will the IAAF disqualify tall athletes from high or long jump, as they have an “unfair advantage” over people of short stature? Are we going to see a manual of “standard athlete measurements” with people too far off one of the scales banned from competition?
The funniest part is that Pistorius is unlikely to qualify for the Olympics finals anyway. So this shot-in-the-foot by the IAAF is worse than useless, and doubly stupid.