17th Jul 2012 12:37pm | By Sarah Kuranda
Michael Johnson, four time gold medallist and world record holder in the 400m, believes that runners with prosthetic limbs have an “unfair advantage,” and shouldn’t be allowed to compete in the same categories as able-bodied athletes.
His friend, Oscar Pistorius is doing just that. Known as “blade runner,” South African Pistorius runs with two prosthetic legs and is competing against able-bodied athletes in the fast-approaching Olympic Games, including Johnson.
He is seen by many as an inspiration to other disabled athletes.
“I know Oscar well, and he knows my position; my position is that because we don’t know for sure whether he gets an advantage from the prosthetics that he wears it is unfair to the able-bodied competitors,” said Johnson at a Times+ event.
Despite his objections, Johnson does not believe that Pistorius will make it to the Olympic finals as he only has a personal best time of 45.07, compared to Johnson’s world record of 43.18. He predicts that the people that Pistorius does outrun may be angry at a possible advantage.
Johnson maintains that his objections are not against Pistorius himself, but rather the rules themselves, which, if changed, might allow for technology to provide an advantage to some.
As for Pistorius himself, Johnson said that if the changes were just for the South African “blade runner,” he would say: “Absolutely, let him run.”
Image via Getty.