Pistorius given ‘fair hearing’

2008-05-02 00:00

Johannesburg — South African double amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius will learn in two weeks whether a ban on him competing at the Beijing Olympics will be overturned, his manager said yesterday.

Pistorius (21), who runs with carbon fibre blades attached to both legs below the knees, took the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) this week.

"We’re happy that we at least had the chance to state our case and present all the scientific evidence we have gathered," Pistorius’s manager, Peet van Zyl, said after the hearing in Lausanne, Switzerland.

"The hearing was very fair and there was a good spirit on all sides. We’re happy with the way it went." He said CAS had told them they would wait "not longer than two weeks" for the verdict.

Pistorius appealed to CAS against a ruling by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) barring him from competing at the August Games.

The IAAF ruled in January that he could not compete against able-bodied athletes after a specially commissioned study found that the blades offered him a significant advantage.

Scientists and IAAF experts presented evidence this week before a three-man CAS panel comprising a chairman nominated by CAS, one person nominated by the IAAF and one put forward by Pistorius’s camp.

"One can never know how these things will go. It’s in someone else’s hands now," Van Zyl added.

Pistorius won gold and bronze at the 2004 Athens Paralympics and has competed mostly in able-bodied events in South Africa. He has competed in two able-bodied competitions overseas.

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