JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius will not compete for South Africa against able-bodied athletes at the Beijing Olympics after failing to make the roster for the 1,600-meter relay team.
Pistorius, who recently won the right to compete against able-bodied athletes in an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, failed to meet the qualifying standard in the 400 meters. He had hoped to be chosen as an alternate for the 1,600 relay, but his name was not on the roster announced Friday.
Athletics South Africa president Leonard Chuene said four other runners had faster times, and two others were chosen as alternates.
Pistorius battled the International Association of Athletics Federations for the right to run. In May, the Court of Arbitration ruled against the IAAF, saying his carbon fiber prosthetic blades did not provide an unfair advantage against able-bodied athletes.
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But Pistorius fell short of the 400 qualifying time of 45.55 seconds, despite running a personal best 46.25 on Wednesday at a meet in Lucerne, Switzerland. The 21-year-old Pistorius, who said his legal battles prevented him from focusing on training, had acknowledged it might be more realistic to aim for the 2012 London Olympics.
Pistorius plans to run at the Sept. 6-17 Paralympic Games in Beijing. He holds the Paralympic world record of 46.56 in the 400.
Efforts to reach Pistorius were not immediately successful. His manager, Peet Van Zyl, said considering Pistorius' recent times, he didn't expect the runner to be asked to join the team.
"From the beginning, we knew that he had to qualify," Van Zyl said. "We didn't expect him to be granted any special opportunity or anything. The rules are the rules."
The International Olympic Committee said it was South Africa's decision to make.
"They pick the athletes who they think should go to the games," IOC spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau said.
The IAAF said Thursday that it fully supported Pistorius' bid to run at the Olympics, despite comments made earlier this week by general secretary Pierre Weiss. He expressed concerns that the blade-like prosthetics could cause injury to other runners while jockeying for position.
The comments "have no effect on the official eligibility of Oscar Pistorius, nor should they be misconstrued as a personal attack on Oscar," the IAAF said in a statement.
On Wednesday, the New York legal firm of Dewey and Leboeuf, which represents Pistorius, threatened legal action against the IAAF. It demanded that the IAAF withdraw a statement that the body did not have the resources to check the legality of Pistorius' blades each time he ran.
Pistorius was born without fibulas — the long, thin outer bone between the knee and ankle — and was 11 months old when his legs were amputated below the knee.