Germany exclude amputee long-jumper

Paralympic champion Markus Rehm omitted from European Championship squad after tests showed unfair advantage.

Last updated: 30 Jul 2014 17:08
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Rehm won the long jump event at the German nationals last week [Getty Images]

Germany excluded an amputee long jumper from its team for the European Athletics Championships, saying the athlete's carbon-fiber prosthesis gives him an unfair advantage.

Paralympic champion Markus Rehm won the long jump at the German nationals last weekend with an effort of 8.24 meters. As German champion, that would normally qualify him for the Aug. 12-17 Euros in Zurich.

But the German athletics federation, known as the DLV, dropped him from the team.

"I find it a pity and disappointing,'' said Rehm, adding that he was considering appealing.

The case has parallels to that of Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee South African runner who went to court to win the right to compete in the 2012 London Olympics.

DLV president Clemens Prokop said there was a "significant difference'' between jumps with a blade-like prosthesis and natural jumps in the run-up and liftoff.

"There is significant doubt that jumps with a leg prosthesis and a natural joint are comparable,'' Prokop said in explaining the decision to drop Rehm.

Prokop said biometric measurements conducted at the nationals in Ulm showed that Rehm's prosthesis might give him an unfair "catapult effect'' that allows him longer jumps. He was also faster by a second per meter at takeoff.


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