Pistorius says IAAF desperate to stop his Olympic bid

LUCERNE, Switzerland Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:13pm BST

Related Topics

LUCERNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - Double amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius has accused athletics' governing body the IAAF of being "desperate" to stop him competing at next month's Beijing Olympics.

Pistorius, who overturned an IAAF ban to win the right to compete with able-bodied athletes, is still hoping to be selected for South Africa's 4x400 metre relay team after missing out in his final bid to qualify for the individual 400 metres.

The 21-year-old South African, who set a personal best time of 46.25 seconds in Lucerne on Wednesday while chasing the 45.55 seconds qualifying requirement, said recent comments attributed to IAAF officials showed that the organisation was still opposed to his Olympic bid.

"One of the comments they made was that they didn't have the resources to check my prosthetic legs at every event, which kind of implies that I would try to cheat," Pistorius said on Wednesday.

"Personally that's not what I think sport is about and it's kind of sad that they would feel that. I think it was the IAAF's last desperate attempt to try and get me not to qualify.

"We went to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to prove our point and unfortunately for them I came out on top. Since then there have been mixed messages from the IAAF, saying they welcome me at their events and then going back on it.

"It's obviously an organisation that doesn't know what's going on its own body but it's not my job to prove a federation right or wrong. It's my job to be out on the track enjoying what I do."

Pistorius, whose lower legs were amputated when he was 11 months old, was banned from competing in January by the IAAF who argued that the carbon fibre blades he runs on gave him an advantage over able-bodied athletes.

Pistorius succeeded in having the ban overturned by CAS which criticised the tests carried out by the IAAF to measure the runner's performance levels.

CAS said that its ruling applied only to Pistorius and only for as long as he continued to use his existing model of prosthetics.

Pistorius said he expected to hear by Sunday if he had made his country's Olympic relay team.

The IAAF could not be reached for comment.

(Editing by Pritha Sarkar)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.