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Old 07-25-2011, 08:36 PM   #1
Thunder
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Default Your thoughts on runners with Prosthetics.

Well, we got this runner who, by all accounts is doing quite well.
Thing is he doesn't have lower legs but has been fitted with carbon fiber blades.

The article that prompted this discussion with my girlfriend :
http://www.sport24.co.za/OtherSport/...-edge-20110724

"
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) initially banned him from competing in able bodied races after it was found that his blades gave him an unfair advantage.
He took his case to the CAS and was cleared to run shortly before the Beijing Games."


My personal feeling is augmentation , giving him an advantage is wrong, however admirable it is . (my girlfriend thinks he should be allowed to run)


My suggestion , study his running , try to find out the advantage caused by his "blades" and subtract that percentage from his finishing time.


But in thinking about it i tried to find a basic rule for things like athletics and what i thought was anything NOT artificially enhanced should be allowed to compete...


But , then the Castor Semenya story raises it head.

http://www.sportsscientists.com/2009...or-female.html
Totally natural (nothing artificial)but excessive testosterone, giving her an advantage over other female athletes...



Anybody else have different ideas?
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:43 PM   #2
Feuer Frei!
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Well, excessive testosterone and unfair advantage due to the blades on prosthetics are two different things.
I agree with your girlfriend, i think he should be allowed to run, since the CAS cleared him to run. I imagine they would have done their investigations and/or testing to prove no unfair advantage gained? I haven't read the article linked, so i'm going in blind in respect to that part of it.
But, if cleared, why not? Was there a protest from IAAF? If not, case closed. And case closed for future cases, probably.
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:47 PM   #3
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That is a difficult and often emotional question to answer.

There was a pro golfer who had the same issue. He had a disability that prevented him from walking long distances so he wanted to use a golf cart. Other golfers complained that walking long distances in this specific tournament was part of the competition and that all golfers had to accept the exertion of walking. To allow this golfer to ride, made him less tired and therefore gave him an advantage.

What would have been the "right" decision for this golfer. I don't know what the "right" answer is.

On one hand people with disabilities garner sympathy and can be given reasonable accommodation as a result of their disablement.

On the other hand, participating in sports is a voluntary action and if one wishes to garner the advantages of participating in a voluntary sport, they have to accept the rules.

I don't know if there is a "right" answer to quandaries like this.

Decide one way and you are a heartless bastage with no compassion for the disabled.

Decide another way and you are unfairly discriminating against non-disabled people who are following the rules of the voluntary sport.

I wish I knew the answer.
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:19 PM   #4
RickC Sniper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Platapus View Post
That is a difficult and often emotional question to answer.

There was a pro golfer who had the same issue. He had a disability that prevented him from walking long distances so he wanted to use a golf cart. Other golfers complained that walking long distances in this specific tournament was part of the competition and that all golfers had to accept the exertion of walking. To allow this golfer to ride, made him less tired and therefore gave him an advantage.

If I remember correctly, using a golf cart was against pga rules so it wasn't other golfers complaints that caused his problem. That case was decided by the courts and he was allowed to play and use a cart.

I don't think the runner should be allowed to participate in the olympics or even college sports using the prosthetic legs\feet.

I can picture a legless man/woman wearing a mermaid-like prosthetic and wanting to swim against able bodied individuals. Where do you draw the line?

And I do not believe there could be any test that could tell you EXACTLY what the advantage is.

We do already have competitions for disabled athletes, and classifying an individual's disability in order to make those competitions fair is quite difficult.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:18 PM   #5
Anthony W.
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I can answer this without emotion! I have friends with prosthetic legs!

I don't think he should be allowed to run. The spring effect alone of the carbon fiber would give him a major advantage.

Its essentially a form of powerbocking. His upper legs don't have to move as far or as fast to go as far.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powerbocking
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
That is a difficult and often emotional question to answer.
It is simple.
It is the wrong decision.
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Old 07-26-2011, 04:55 AM   #7
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Ah when the time comes when living with a handicap gives you unfair advantage over those who do not I say that is a hell of a time.

Surely now isn't it yet.
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