Pistorius apologises for timing of rant

Oscar Pistorious, left, congratulated Alan Fonteles Oliveira on his victory, but later complained about the length of the Brazilian's blades

Oscar Pistorious, left, congratulated Alan Fonteles Oliveira on his victory, but later complained about the length of the Brazilian's blades

First published in National Sport News © by

Oscar Pistorius has apologised for the timing of his comments about the running blades used by T44 200 metres gold medallist Alan Fonteles Oliveira immediately after the race.

The South African hit out at the International Paralympic Committee for failing to act over the length of some athletes' blades after Oliveira, wearing noticeably longer ones, came from way back to pip him at the line. 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.

"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," Pistorius said in a statement on Monday morning.

"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."

Pistorius, who was the reigning T44 200m champion, cannot alter the length of his blades if he wants to continue to compete in able-bodied competition because they have to conform to IAAF regulations.

And he claimed he was not competing on a level playing field, even though the new blades, which are about four inches taller than those used by Pistorius, are within the rules.

He said after the race: "I've never seen a guy come back from eight metres (behind) on the 100m mark to overtake me on the finish line. The guys are just running ridiculous times and they're able to do so. We've known (about the longer blades) for about a month. I've brought it up with the IPC but nothing's been done about it. I believe in the fairness of sport, I believe in running on the right length.''

The IPC said in a statement: "At the London 2012 Paralympic Games all athletes competing in T42/43/44 events (above knee and below knee lower leg amputees) have had their prosthesis measured against the IPC Athletics Rules.

"All athletes competing in the Men's 200m T44 final were checked by international classifiers in the call room ahead of the race. All were within the regulations outlined in the IPC Athletics Classification Handbook. After the race Oscar Pistorius requested a meeting with the IPC where he voiced his concerns."

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