Oscar Pistorius is a runner. A sprinter, precisely. Like many sprinters, he dreams of competing in the Olympics. He's trained for years and won lots of races, but that might not be enough to make it to the games. Why? Because Pistorius doesn't have lower legs.
They were amputated below the knee when he was 11 years old. To run, Pistorius uses advanced prosthetics made of carbon fiber that were inspired by the hind leg of a cheetah. The IAAF, track and field's international governing body, is observing and analyzing Pistorius's running to determine if the "blades" would constitute an unfair advantage:
IAAF spokesman Davies says the IAAF has evidence that the spring in the limbs gives Pistorius a "three to four metre stride" which he insists is "not humanly possible" and hence an unfair advantage.There's also a problem with lactic acid, or rather the lack thereof, in the blades, which would seem to provide an advantage in longer races. The advantage doesn't seem all that apparent, yet - he's fifth in the standings in his native South Africa and his best time in the 400m is a whopping 3 seconds off the world's best.
One wonders if the best course for the IAAF is to just allow him to compete and fail on merit to make the Olympics. Of course, that doesn't settle the broader issue when it pops up next time.