Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Oscar Pistorius: A Call for Fair Play
It is the stance of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University that the International Association of Athletics Federations' decision to deny Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee sprinter from South Africa, the right to compete in the Olympics was premature. The IAAF concluded that his state-of-the-art carbon fiber prosthetics give him an unfair advantage over able-bodied sprinters. However, there has not been enough in-depth and substantial independent testing to reach a fair decision. With additional sport science research the IAAF would be better equipped to make a fully informed and the fairest decision. All persons with and without disabilities should come together to support fair, comprehensive, and open assessments of Pistorius and other athletes with similar disabilities. The essence of sport is to strive for fair play on and off the field. We must ensure that this principle is realized in this and future cases.