German amputee long jumper won’t fight Euro Championships exclusion
FRANKFURT, Germany — A German amputee long jumper will not contest the decision by his national federation to exclude him from the upcoming European Championships.
Paralympic champion Markus Rehm, however, said Thursday he would use all means at his disposal to prove that his carbon-fiber prosthesis does not give him an unfair advantage, as argued by the German Athletics Federation (DLV) in leaving him off the team.
Rehm won the long jump at the German nationals last weekend with an effort of 8.24 meters (27 feet, inch). As German champion, that would normally qualify him for the Aug. 12-17 Euros in Zurich.
"If it is proven that I had an advantage because of the prosthesis, I will have all my jumps annulled and I will give my title back," Rehm said at a news conference. "More analysis is needed until a comprehensive picture is achieved."
The DLV said biometric measurements conducted at the nationals 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.
"I am not going to take any judicial steps," Rehm said. "But I will use all possibilities to prove that I got no advantage. People should not think that I won only because of the prosthesis. That would be an extremely false idea."
Rehm and other experts have questioned the measuring method used by the federation, saying it did not provide a complete picture.
During a morning television appearance, Rehm said not appealing the federation’s ruling was a matter of "fair play."
"The topic of European Championships is over for me," he said.
Rehm said he had respect for other athletes, did not want to cause confusion and wanted to "remain fair."
The federation said Thursday it would conduct further tests and would consult with the German Olympic Committee.
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.
Pistorius waged a four-year battle to win eligibility to compete in the Olympics. The IAAF banned him from running in its events on grounds that his carbon-fiber blades gave him an unfair advantage, but he won a court case in 2008 that allowed him to compete. He ran in the 400 and 4×400 relay at the 2011 world championships and 2012 London Games.
Pistorius is now on trial in South Africa for murder after he fatally shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Feb. 14, 2013. The trial is on a break ahead of closing arguments on Aug. 7-8.