Running Down a Dream: Oscar Pistorius, Prosthetic Devices, and the Unknown Future of Athletes with Disabilities in the Olympic Games

June 16, 2012

Oscar Pistorius, a double-amputee sprinter set on competing in the Olympic Games, was banned from competition by the International Association of Athletics Federation (“IAAF”) after it found his prosthetic legs gave him an unfair advantage over other runners. On appeal, the Court of Arbitration for Sport held that Pistorius had no such advantage, but the court’s ruling was limited only to Pistorius and his specific prosthesis. This Recent Development describes how the court’s ruling imposes substantial burdens on both athletes with disabilities and the IAAF. This Recent Development also discusses why the IAAF is not in the best position to enforce the ruling, and it enumerates remedies the IAAF can implement to resolve eligibility questions when evaluating athletes with disabilities.