LONDON, England (AFP) — Oscar Pistorius yesterday lost his Paralympic T44 200m crown to Brazil's Alan Oliveira then immediately hit out at the authorities, claiming he was at a disadvantage in artificial leg length.
The 25-year-old South African — the Games' most high-profile athlete after becoming the first double-amputee to compete in the Olympics — lost by seven-hundredths of a second, as Oliveira stormed from behind to win in 21.45 seconds.
Blake Leeper of the United States was third in 22.46.
But Pistorius, dubbed the "Blade Runner" because of his carbon fibre prostheses, complained that some of his rivals' running blades were longer than they should be.
"The IPC (International Paralympic Committee) don't want to listen," he told Channel 4 television. "The guys' legs are unbelievably long. Not taking away from Alan's performance, he's a great athlete.
"But these guys are a lot taller and you can't compete with the stride length.
You saw how far he came back. We aren't racing a fair race. I gave it my best," he added.
"The IPC have their regulations. The regulations allow that athletes can make themselves unbelievably high. We've tried to address the issue with them in the weeks up to this and it's just been falling on deaf ears."
Pistorius, who won all three T44 sprint events in Beijing four years ago and had been seeking to defend his titles, said bronze medallist Leeper's knee height, for example, was "like four inches (10 cm) higher than it should be".
"The guys are just running ridiculous times and they're able to do so. I think Alan's a great athlete but... I run just over 10 metres per second," he added.
"I don't know how you can come back, watching the replay, from eight metres behind on the 100 to win. It's absolutely ridiculous."