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Pistorius ruling by CAS expected Friday

5/15/2008

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius will learn Friday whether he can race against able-bodied runners at the Beijing Olympics.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Thursday it will issue the ruling on Pistorius, who runs on prosthetic blades. The 21-year-old South African is asking the court to overturn a ruling by the IAAF banning him from competing against able-bodied runners.

The IAAF ruled in January that the J-shaped "Cheetah" blades were energy efficient and gave Pistorius a technical edge. It based its decision on studies by German professor Gert-Peter Brueggemann.

Even if the panel rules in favor of Pistorius, he would still have to qualify for the Beijing Olympics.

Pistorius appeared before a CAS panel at a two-day appeal hearing last month.

Pistorius' legal team presented results from independent tests conducted by MIT professor Hugh M. Herr, who said Pistorius doesn't gain any advantage.

Pistorius finished second in the 400 meters at the able-bodied South African championships last year. He set world records in the 100, 200 and 400 meters in Paralympic events.

He was born without fibulas -- the long, thin outer bone between the knee and ankle. He was 11 months old when his legs were amputated below the knee.