/ 28 April 2021

Blade runner barred from Tokyo Olympics

American runner Blake Leeper’s Olympic dream looks like it won’t get out of the blocks after a World Athletics review panel yesterday barred him from participating in the Tokyo Games. It believes his carbon-fibre prosthetic legs would give him an unfair advantage over able-bodied runners as they made him “unnaturally tall”. Leeper’s prostheses give him a standing height of 184cm, but the rules state that he should not be allowed to run at more than 174.4cm. No stranger to knock-backs, the 8-time Paralympic medallist has also been blocked by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Leeper still has avenues of appeal but says it’s too late for him to relearn his running technique with shorter blades. Whatever the result, he says he plans on competing in the Tokyo Paralympics, which kick off on 24 August. ‘Legal’ or not, geez he can run

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