ESPN just published an article saying that the IAAF has proposed a rule to ban athletes from using prostheses in international competition. If it passes, Oscar Pistorius will be officially banned from competing in the Olympic Games, even on his country's relay team. (Click here for my previous take.)
The rule is not without its supporters. Blaine at Run to Win argues in this post that prosthetics should be banned from international competition. He makes a logical argument. I don't agree, but I'll give him that.
I just don't see the justification. Not yet, at least. Not with this man's career and lifelong dream on the line. This rule is being created based on what amounts to as "he said she said" reasoning. Everyone is sure that Oscar must be getting some major advantage because no one's ever done what he's doing. That's it. It's beyond the realm of most people's comprehension to imagine a man with artificial legs running world-class times.
And I suppose Lance Armstrong must have had artificial assistance to win seven Tours, because no one had ever done that before and obviously that's proof that it couldn't have been done. Perhaps we should run LeBron James through some extra tests to verify he's all-natural. I mean, 22 year olds don't put up 48-9-7 in Detroit. (Maybe David Blaine was right!) And while we're at it, make Tiger Woods use Colin Montgomerie's clubs. I'm sure that's why Tiger's won so many majors and Colin's the best golfer to never win one.
I have just one question: where's the proof? Prove to me that Oscar has an advantage and I'll agree with the change. You know where he lives. He works out every day. Go test him!
This post became more of a rant than a reasoned argument. But it really bothers me when people presume to know something without actually investing the time and energy to really understand it. Don't treat your responsibilities the way the IAAF is treating theirs; do the research, sustain judgment, and don't make a decision until you're as informed as possible about the matter at hand.
P.S. Happy Birthday Mom!