Rule would bar amputee from Olympics

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    MONTE CARLO, Monaco — Track and field's governing organization proposed a rule Thursday that would prevent a South African amputee sprinter from competing at the Beijing Olympics.

    Oscar Pistorius, who had both legs amputated below the knee as an infant, wants to run in the 2008 Games. With high-tech blades attached just under his knees, he has run nationally competitive times in the 400, 200 and 100 meters.

    But officials of the International Association of Athletics Federations consider the blades an artificial aid, and its executive council proposed a new rule that would outlaw them.

    The proposed rule would prohibit “use of any technical device that incorporates springs, wheels or any other element that provides the user with an advantage over another athlete not using such a device.”

    The rule was originally meant to ban sophisticated gadgets that manufacturers add in the shoes of top athletes to make them run faster. But it would also cover the prostheses used by Pistorius. article

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