Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Pistorius to meet IPC in blades row

Oscar Pistorius looks dejected after finishing second in the men's 200m T44 final at the Olympic Stadium
Oscar Pistorius looks dejected after finishing second in the men's 200m T44 final at the Olympic Stadium
Brazil's Alan Fonteles Oliveira shakes hands with South Africa's Oscar Pistorius after winning gold in the men's 200m T44 final

Oscar Pistorius and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) are to meet to discuss concerns over regulations governing running prostheses after the South African apologised for the timing of his criticism of Brazilian rival Alan Oliveira.

Pistorius, whose own Cheetah blades were subject to stringent testing in 2008 as he sought to compete in the Olympic Games, had a short meeting with the IPC after venting his fury at them for failing to act over the length of some athletes' blades after Oliveira came from way back to pip him at the line in the men's T44 200metres at the London 2012 Olympic Stadium on Sunday night.

The Brazilian took gold in 21.45 seconds, leaving Pistorius to settle for silver, coming home in 21.52secs with stunned quiet from the 80,000 spectators greeting the result.

Speaking overnight, IPC communications director Craig Spence said: "We've agreed we will meet again with our science and medical director, Peter van de Vliet, for Oscar to share his concerns with the IPC without the emotions of tonight's race.

"That meeting will be set up in due course. Oscar shared his concerns with us. We will meet to discuss what he's got to say."

Pistorius, who ran in the 400m at the London 2012 Olympics, first won the 200m Paralympic title as a 17-year-old in Athens, successfully defended it in Beijing and set a world record of 21.30 in Saturday's heats before finishing second in the final.

On Monday morning, Pistorius said in a statement: "I would never want to detract from another athletes' moment of triumph and I want to apologise for the timing of my comments after yesterday's race.

"I do believe that there is an issue here and I welcome the opportunity to discuss with the IPC but I accept that raising these concerns immediately as I stepped off the track was wrong.

"That was Alan's moment and I would like to put on record the respect I have for him. I am a proud Paralympian and believe in the fairness of sport. I am happy to work with the IPC who obviously share these aims".

The 25-year-old four-time Paralympic champion is next set to be in action in the 100m heats on Wednesday.

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