Amputee Sprinter Ruled Ineligible for Olympics

 Unfair advantage? (image via  Wikimedia Commons )

Unfair advantage? (image via Wikimedia Commons)

From the Archives: I wrote this satirical piece in January 2008 after reading about Oscar Pistorius, a sprinter who was deemed ineligible because his prosthetic legs gave him an unfair advantage over other sprinters. Yeah - the man lost his limbs and the IAAF treated him like Ben Johnson.

MONACO -- Would-be Olympians have breathed a huge sigh of relief following the IAAF’s ruling that double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius is ineligible for the Beijing Olympics because his prosthetics give him an unfair advantage. The International Association of Athletics Federations had found that the kinetic energy generated from spring-action of Pistorius’ “Cheetah” blade prosthetics, allowed him to expend less energy than able-bodied sprinters. However, the IAAF found that the blades constituted an illegal performance enhancer that give Pistorius a significant advantage over his competitors. “The blades allow him to run faster while using less energy. That is precisely the kind of competitive advantage that we’re trying to erase. The equivalent of this would be if an able-bodied athlete had injected every single steroid known to man over a period of many years,” IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said. “Today’s ruling excises yet another cheater from the Olympics. Ben Johnson, Tim Montgomery, Justin Gatlin, CJ Hunter, Regina Jacobs, Kelli White, and Marion Jones. Now we can add Oscar Pistorius to that list.”

Olympic hopefuls were buoyed by the ruling. “It’s good that we don’t have to race against the bionic man,” sprinter Joe Theriot stated. “What’s next? Are they going to allow people with spring legs into the high-jump? Are they going to let long jumpers use rocket packs? Boxers and wrestlers with hooks instead of hands? Where does this end?”

“It’s sad to see the lengths athletes will go to in order to get an edge. BALCO was an absolute disgrace. I had also heard stories about people spiking their urine samples with alcohol and other stuff to avoid detection. But this is a new low. For someone to remove their legs just so they could use these state-of-the-art blades is unconscionable,” sprinter Marie Zabkowski added.

Other athletes were relieved, but for other reasons. “Thank God!” sprinter Odalis Lopez exclaimed. “These anti-doping rules were killing me! I was going to get my legs amputated so I could use those Cheetah blades, but now I don’t have to. I just have to find another way to - uh - train.” Noted surgeon Dr. Robert Thompson confirmed these reports, noting that he had to cancel a number of “double-legectomies” over the last few days. “I guess they don’t need to have their legs removed anymore,” Dr. Thompson noted.

When reached for comment, Oscar Pistorius was incredulous. “I lost my freaking legs! It wasn’t like I signed up to be the next Six Million Dollar Man or something. I wasn’t trying to cheat. What’s wrong with these people? I’m a double-amputee that can compete at an Olympic level. Shouldn’t that be an impressive accomplishment? Shouldn’t that be a feel-good story? Shouldn’t I get an interview with Barbara Walters and a movie deal with Disney? What’s wrong with this picture?”

In related news, Roger Clemens has agreed to undergo surgery to remove his legs and his right arm and replace them with “Cheetah” blades.

Victor Li

chicago, il