Merritt queries Oscar's 'legs'

2012-05-17 14:01

Johannesburg - Olympic 400 metres champion LaShawn Merritt says he is concerned about the progress made by amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius in the last few seasons.

"He is getting better every year," the American told the insideworldparasport website.

"I haven't really been keeping up with it, but I don't know how the judge made a ruling on it and what goes on with the prosthetic legs."

Pistorius, who hopes to compete at the London Olympics, was cleared by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to compete against able-bodied athletes in 2008.

Since his clearance, Pistorius has improved his personal best by well over a second to his career record of 45.07.

He reached the men's 400m semi-finals at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea, last year and secured a silver medal as part of the SA 4x400m relay squad.

"Technology gets better every day," Merritt told the website.

He said he hoped the IAAF would monitor any changes made to Pistorius' carbon-fibre blades.

"I just hope the federation keeps track of what is happening with him just so it is fair."


  • phillipgibb - 2012-05-17 14:11

    "He is getting better every year" is that not what an athlete should be doing in order to stay competitive?

      Squeegee - 2012-05-17 14:16


      Narike - 2012-05-17 15:07

      Exactly! It's called T-R-A-I-N-I-N-G, "LaShawn"

      vdwjasper - 2012-05-17 16:45

      I agree with Merritt. Basically all he is saying is that the IAAF must keep track of technological advance. There must be a clear line between technology and ability. If Oscars blades keep getting lighter and the manufacturers keep adding spring - who knows what he might achieve. The 400 is an endurance sprint. I feel Oscar already has an advantage in that he carries much less of a weight burden.

      Warren - 2012-05-17 21:41

      Oscar gets to compete in the able bodied AND the paralympics thereby giving the oppertunity to earn 2 medals while denying some other hard-working athlete a place at the starting blocks. Oscar is a paralympian and the paralympics were created for people just like him. No I'm not anti-Oscar, I just know that if he were Chinese, Russian or whatever there'd be an outcry from SA at him competing. National pride shouldn't cloud our judgement on fair play.

      Shirley - 2012-05-18 03:07

      @Gollum, interesting comment. I believe there should just be one Olympic Games for all people: the able bodied, and physically challenged and mentally challenged. Why do Paralympians have a separate Paralympic Games? Why does the world segregate her people? All events should be part of the Olympic Games. Perhaps Oscar wouldn't have felt the need to then try be like "normal" people and compete at the Olympic Games. Good on him--he is setting new paradigms.

      Warren - 2012-05-18 08:15

      How good would it be for an able-bodied athlete to demand competing in wheelchair-basketball? Nobody would say good on them or that they're setting new paradigms. Instead they'd be shunned, yet it's exactly the same thing.

  • Heiku - 2012-05-17 14:14

    Well it is his fault we all had to go and get skippers licenses...

      albertusvw - 2012-05-17 14:19


  • Squeegee - 2012-05-17 14:17

    Sour grapes. I don't see his name among the world's most influential people.

  • Stirrer - 2012-05-17 14:19

    Boo-frikkin'-hoo. The blades were cleared by the IAAF. Oscar is getting better. Deal with it.

  • BJ - 2012-05-17 14:27

    Let's not forget that Merritt is a confirmed drug cheat who can only compete because his lawyers are better than those of the IAAF, so it's pretty amazing that he has the cheek to ask them to "keep track" of non-cheats.

      Had - 2012-05-17 15:05

      This is what wikipedia says about his drug cheating : On 22 April 2010 it was revealed he had failed three drugs tests and as a result he accepted a provisional suspension.[18] He claimed that the failed drug tests resulted from his use of an over-the-counter penis enlargement product, ExtenZe.[19] Merritt stated that he had not read the small print to check the ingredients of the product, which contains the banned steroid Dehydroepiandrosterone. He accepted a two-year ban for the infraction and stated that he had made a "foolish, immature and egotistical mistake...Any penalty I may receive for my action will not overshadow the embarrassment and humiliation I feel".[18] Bigus Dickus - haha !

      Stirrer - 2012-05-17 16:17

      Medication for smallcox?

  • dan.sandman.3 - 2012-05-17 14:42

    The irony of the story is that Oscar is running with the same "blades" for the past 3..........

  • Acta - 2012-05-17 14:51

    Same whinging, different guy! Pathetic!

  • Marlene - 2012-05-17 14:58

    Shame... How insecure must you be if you are scared of a man without legs! Oscar had to overcome so much more than you. Mentally and physically. That's makes him the stronger one

  • Anthony - 2012-05-17 15:10

    They're running scared

  • PumaFred - 2012-05-17 15:17

    This coming from someone who has failed drug tests 3 time. I also query a name like laShawn

  • Andile - 2012-05-17 16:17

    Here's a question: regardless of what a drug cheat says about Oscars legs, what if Oscar was to start competing in high jump. Would he be allowed to use more flexible blades? This will certainly be an unfair advantage...

      eugenerobertspe - 2012-05-17 17:33

      The blades are passive devices. Better technology will only minimize the losses of the blade, not give Oscar more energy/power than he put into the blades. The only advantage he has over able bodied athletes are the fact that his \legs\ are lighter. But the flip side of that is that an able bodied athlete has his lower part of the legs and feet with muscles that can provide more power that Oscar doesn't have. The question would probably be more \is it a fair trade - weight vs power\.

  • Saffa - 2012-05-17 16:20


  • Sean - 2012-05-17 17:27

    I'll probably get loads of thumbs down for saying this,but what if Oscar Pistorius was a black,coloured or indian South African athlete doing what he does and this LaShawn Merritt said the same things then?Then what? Would 94.5% of the comments made by news24 users here or the 16 out of 18 that left their comments be as supportive of Mr Pistorius as they have been sofar here today?Just a thought as it seems that race in South Africa still dictates what and how people say their comments on news24.

      Bokfan - 2012-05-17 17:51

      Thanks for that profound contribution LaSean. Shouldnt we rather speculate about something meaningful. Like what type of cheese the moon is made of.

      Sean - 2012-05-17 19:45

      Bokfan No point hiding behind the obvious.This has been the story of News24 and those that have the decency to post a comment as a point of view.Race is an issue on this forum and it runs across every aspect of the debate.Whether it be politics,sports,business whatever. Folks here are far to quick to defend the status quo,but not as vigorous to defend when something is considered outside of the existing state of affairs of interest. Unfortunately its still "us against them politics"(along racial lines) that dominates this forum.That will never change regardless.

      BJ - 2012-05-17 20:37

      There is always some idiot who will bring race into any discussion.

  • Rob - 2012-05-17 17:47

    Boing, boing, boing, boing , boing - 'winner' - good luck to you.....

  • PrivateFluffy - 2012-05-17 18:10

    Oscar isn't even running with any new blades. When he was cleared to run with able bodied people in 2008, he was cleared to only run with that specific set of blades they did all those tests on that year. So Oscar has actually been running with old prosthetics and outdated technology

  • pieterhvaneeden - 2012-05-17 19:41

    So, who is getting scared...? A good time to start making excuses. As if his shoes, and training, and stamina can not also improve?

  • Shirley - 2012-05-18 03:16

    I really don't believe that a person who has no legs, and who has to use fake legs, has an unfair advantage over people with legs they were born with. And Oscar has to start like other athletes, crouching down--do you know how difficult that is for him to then get up and run? There is nothing "bionic" about Oscar's prosthetic legs, they are pieces of metal, and he needs them to get around or he would be sitting in a wheelchair. Go Oscar! You have worked really hard to get where you are now and are showing the world that you have amazing purpose and are inspiration for many people.

  • JanGertNel - 2012-05-18 06:00

    LaShawn has penis length issues.... I think that if Oscar had an advantage -due to his disablility, we would have seen more "blade-runners" on the world stage. We don't. Something has to be said for this man who can run olympic qualifying times without ankles. PS. Any athlete that puts anything into his or her own mouth -without reading the ingredients -is certifiable, LaShawn is scared that he will lose againts a man without legs...

      Prosper - 2012-05-18 10:00

      Lashawn is just defending his 'territory' here but truth be told Oscar can never come close to Lashawn's times. Its good to feel like he can but he can't beat Lashawn.

  • Zion - 2012-05-18 10:49

    Predicted this situation 3 years ago.

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