A dose of Beijing Olympics news as we near the 200 day mark to the start of the Games (a funny thing to think about on this dreary, cold, yellow skied day in Beijing). In what is hardly going to be a surprise to most, the International Association of Athletics Federations appears set to announce that Oscar Pistorius, the South African double amputee runner, is not eligible to race in the 2008 Olympics. After extensive testing, the organization is claiming that the prosthetics Pistorius uses gives him an unfair advantage. For interesting reads in the past about Pistorius and this controversy, here are the takes of the NY Times and Wired.
I've done a lot to advocate for the disabled, but in this situation, I believe that the IAAF and IOC is doing the right thing banning him from the Olympics. The Times article brings up the interesting weird science world that might exist if disabled athletes like Pistorius are able to use prosthetics, race in the regular Olympics, and defeat able bodied ones. I am inclined to trust the science on this and I think Pistorius should be happy to compete for gold in the Paralympics. I think the only sport where it is realistic to expect the IOC to allow a disabled athlete to compete in the regular Olympics would be in swimming, where minimal or no accomodations would be required. At the end of the day, he's still a role model and if he's looking for a payday, he can always continue his races against able bodied athletes when allowed or some PPV special events.