• London Paralympics 2012

IPC rejects Pistorius claims as South African apologises

ESPN staff
September 3, 2012
Oscar Pistorius stands by his accusations © Getty Images

The International Paralympic Committee has insisted that Oscar Pistorius's allegations in the wake of his T44 200m defeat are unfounded - although it is prepared to sit down and discuss the matter with the South African.

Pistorius was outraged on Sunday night as he was beaten by Alan Oliveira in the final of the sprint event at the Olympic Stadium, the Brazilian overhauling him over the last 80m to take a surprise gold.

Pistorius claimed immediately afterwards that Oliveira was using longer blades that gave him a distinct advantage, but the IPC insisted that all finalists were assessed before the final and were cleared to compete.

"There is a rule in place regarding the length of the blades, which is determined by a formula based on the height and dynamics of the athlete," an IPC spokesman said.

"All athletes were measured prior to competition [on Sunday] by a classifier and all were approved for competition."

Another IPC spokesman, Craig Spence, added: "He [Pistorius] wanted to voice his concerns and we listened to those concerns.

"The IPC will meet with Oscar at a later date to discuss his concerns, once the emotion is out of the way."

Pistorius had suggested that officials rarely measure competitors in the warm-up area immediately before they compete, but Oliveira denied ever tinkering with his blades.

"Since the first time I put them on, they've been following the IPC rules and I've been using them already for a whole month," Oliveira, who is also set to compete against Pistorius in the 100m and 400m, said.

Pistorius, meanwhile, has apologised for airing his concerns with his rival's blades so soon after the race had finished, expressing his regret if his outburst had taken some of the shine off Oliveira's triumph.

However, he did not retract the allegations he made.

"I would never want to detract from another athletes' moment of triumph, I want to apologise for the timing of my comments after yesterday's race," Pistorius said. "I do believe that there is an issue here and I welcome the opportunity to discuss it with the IPC.

"That was Alan's moment and I would like to put on record the respect I have for him.

"I accept that raising these concerns immediately as I stepped off the track was wrong."

Finishing strongly, Oliveira won the race in a time of 21.45 seconds - something that shocked Pistorius.

"He'd never run a 21-second race before," said Pistorius on Sunday night. "That's fact. He was running high 23s less than a year ago, so you just need to look at the facts behind it."

Oliveira, however, expressed his disappointment at the accusations.

"I am just sad with the interview where he said my blades were too big," said Oliveira. "He was bothered by my time in the semi-finals and he wanted to get to me with his polemic, but it did not work.

"For me he is a really great idol and to hear that from a great idol is difficult."

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