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Oscar Pistorius Aims to Compete on Level Playing Field at 2008 Beijing Olympics
Date:2/13/2008

Double amputee Oscar Pistorius files appeal challenging International

Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF); seeks qualification at

sanctioned events

LONDON, Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Oscar Pistorius -- a double amputee athlete from South Africa who competes in sprint events from 100M to 400M -- today initiated an appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland challenging the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) determination disqualifying him from competing in all IAAF sanctioned events, including the upcoming 2008 Beijing Olympics. The appeal is being lead on a pro bono basis by a team of lawyers from international law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf.

Twenty-one year old Pistorius was born without fibula bones in both of his legs due to a congenital condition and at the age of 11 months had his legs were amputated between his knees and ankles. Despite his disability, Pistorius has pursued competition in athletics at an elite level, using artificial limbs manufactured by the Icelandic company Ossur.

Pistorius has been competing in both paralympic and able-bodied events sanctioned by the IAAF since 2004. In 2007 Pistorius was invited to compete in the 400M event at the IAAF "Golden Gala" in Rome, Italy, where he finished second with a time of 46.90 Seconds. In July 2007 he also competed in the Norwich Union British Grand Prix, which was also sanctioned by the IAAF.

However, in an about-face on 16 January 2008, the IAAF made a determination that Pistorius would not be eligible to compete in IAAF sanctioned events. The decision was made subsequent to a two day study initiated by the IAAF, and which concluded that Pistorius receives an "advantage" by using his prosthetic limbs.

Pistorius, backed by a team of leading experts, is certain that the tools necessary to enable him to walk do not provide him with an advantage over other athletes. It is a
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SOURCE Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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