Slickdeals.net

Slickdeals.net (http://slickdeals.net/forums/index.php)
-   The Podium (http://slickdeals.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=18)
-   -   Michael Johnson bucks courts findings, says 'friend' Pistorius shouldn't compete in London (http://slickdeals.net/f/4899086-michael-johnson-bucks-courts-findings-says-friend-pistorius-shouldn-t-compete-in-london)

Dr. J 07-18-2012 04:54 PM

Michael Johnson bucks courts findings, says 'friend' Pistorius shouldn't compete in London
 
Michael Johnson bucks courts findings, says 'friend' Pistorius shouldn't compete in London [cnn.com]

Coming on the heels of curious statements about the descendants of slaves being athletically superior, Johnson is now saying it's "unfair" if Oscar Pistorius, aka Blade Runner, competes against able-bodied runners when it's not clear whether he has an advantage, according to the Telegraph in London.

The South African runner and his carbon fiber prosthetics are slated to compete in the individual 400 as well as the 4×400 relay in this summer's London Games.

--------------

Basically this guy is born with a deficiency where his legs were amputated about mid-calf. He uses spring-like "blades" to run.

My question isn't really about Johnson, but about how we move forward with definitions of what gives someone an unfair advantage and how this is known. Generally, how should different types of competition be defined? (e.g. regular vs para events) This question sometimes comes up where, say, a hermaphrodite wants to compete with women (and may be advantaged).

This guy in particular has won para events, so does he qualify for para only or all events? Why don't "normal" people qualify for such events? Let's say that someone decides to amputate their (perfectly working) legs and gets the same kind of prosthetic and does well - is that any different?

jamegumb 07-18-2012 05:16 PM

It's not PC, but I think Michael Johnson is right about this. The blades may well allow such runners to run faster than they would with "normal" legs.

And I don't know why the paper is so quick to describe this statement as condescending:

Quote:

In what may have been Johnson's most condescending assertion, he paraphrased British runner Roger Black as saying, "What happens when we have a Michael Johnson, a 43-second 400-meter runner, who then has a horrific accident and then becomes a disabled athlete and then you put him on blades, these prosthetics, and he is now running 41 seconds?"
Johnson knows more about running fast 400s than anyone in history, so I wouldn't be so quick to judge his statements as anything other than "unacceptable in today's way of avoiding saying anything negative about anyone." Pistorius is an excellent athlete, of course. But I can't tell you if he's on a "fair" playing field.

Answering your larger question, for the most part I think these should be handled case by case. (That said, I think the court made the wrong decision here. But then they, too, should know...)

vaultaddict 07-18-2012 05:20 PM

Should be allowed to compete.

Dr. J 07-18-2012 05:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 51764580)
It's not PC, but I think Michael Johnson is right about this. The blades may well allow such runners to run faster than they would with "normal" legs.

And I don't know why the paper is so quick to describe this statement as condescending:



Johnson knows more about running fast 400s than anyone in history, so I wouldn't be so quick to judge his statements as anything other than "unacceptable in today's way of avoiding saying anything negative about anyone." Pistorius is an excellent athlete, of course. But I can't tell you if he's on a "fair" playing field.

Answering your larger question, for the most part I think these should be handled case by case. (That said, I think the court made the wrong decision here. But then they, too, should know...)

Well my point is, if we don't know if it gives an advantage or not, there should be a clear rule - if there are any mechanical implements, no competition, period. That's the only equitable and justifiable thing to do. If you give him an exception because he's handicapped, then how can he compete in "regular" and "para" events? Why can't a "normal" person compete in para events?

jamegumb 07-18-2012 06:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr. J (Post 51764744)
Well my point is, if we don't know if it gives an advantage or not, there should be a clear rule - if there are any mechanical implements, no competition, period. That's the only equitable and justifiable thing to do.

Yes, I think that's right. But what if someone had, say, a prosthetic hand? Would that be allowed? Maybe?

And obviously I don't think able-bodied athletes should be in the Paralympics.

Dr. J 07-18-2012 06:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 51765430)
Yes, I think that's right. But what if someone had, say, a prosthetic hand? Would that be allowed? Maybe?

And obviously I don't think able-bodied athletes should be in the Paralympics.


how large a role does a hand play in running? weightlifting perhaps.

Danman114 07-18-2012 06:27 PM

The problem with this ruling is that they didn't make the determination about the rule (ie is he using something the Olympics outlawed), they seem to be ruling on whether it gives him an advantage.

I don't think it would be at all surprising if this athlete or another significantly improved on this 400 time. So maybe he's on par with them now, but tomorrow he or the next athlete could use these blades for a real advantage.

Also, what happens if he wants to run a longer distance (where the slow start he gets is minimized)?

What happens if Michael Johnson wanted to just strap these to his feet (pretend it's possible folks) and run?

(For the record, I'm also not really a fan of those body suits swimmers wear either.)

jamegumb 07-18-2012 06:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr. J (Post 51765536)
how large a role does a hand play in running?

That's why I brought it up - suppose a prosthetic hand was slightly lighter and slightly more aerodynamic than a human hand. This might give an infinitesimal advantage to the prosthetic. But it's a sport decided by very small margins, and is the standard that *no advantage whatsover* be allowed to a competitor?

LivninSC 07-19-2012 11:10 AM

This guys should be allowed to compete, but compete in the para/special olympics (or whatever they're called these days).

I'm sorry but if you're using equipment/prosthetics that in many ways are superior to the thing they've replaced that's an unfair advantage.

Looking at it another way why couldn't this guy just wear 6-feet tall leg prosthetics and play center for the Olympic basketball team. He'd walk on the floor, and camp down my the basket and every time they got the ball just lob it up to him (where he's several feet taller than everyone else) he could just drop it in the basket.

What about a guy who lost his hand had it replaced with some laaaarge web hand thing. He'd be a badass in the water and would probably destroy all the swimming records.

No, if you allow equipment in that by it's nature is superior to the "normal" thing that others don't have access to than they shouldn't be allowed to compete.

MrWD 07-19-2012 01:33 PM

Personally, I believe it's unfair.

And if the other runner's feel the same, I guess they can protest by not participating in the events that Pistorius is in.

Xygonn 07-19-2012 03:47 PM

No prosthetic limbs should be allowed in regular competition. In terms of making things fair for women? Easy, get rid of sex categorization and let them compete with the men. Sure they won't win at running, but I bet they do just fine in archery and curling.

CDI 07-20-2012 04:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LivninSC (Post 51783364)
This guys should be allowed to compete, but compete in the para/special olympics (or whatever they're called these days).

I'm sorry but if you're using equipment/prosthetics that in many ways are superior to the thing they've replaced that's an unfair advantage.

Looking at it another way why couldn't this guy just wear 6-feet tall leg prosthetics and play center for the Olympic basketball team. He'd walk on the floor, and camp down my the basket and every time they got the ball just lob it up to him (where he's several feet taller than everyone else) he could just drop it in the basket.

What about a guy who lost his hand had it replaced with some laaaarge web hand thing. He'd be a badass in the water and would probably destroy all the swimming records.

No, if you allow equipment in that by it's nature is superior to the "normal" thing that others don't have access to than they shouldn't be allowed to compete.

I think your examples make sense. This "blade" is not human-like at all. Doesn't even look like a leg. It's specifically built to enhance his running ability. It's like the LZR Racer swimsuit that got banned due to all the records being shattered in 2008. It did give them an unfair advantage.

I do think he's an exceptional athlete. He obviously trains like a world class athlete. I'm sure regardless of whether he's got legs or blades he'd beat 99.99% of people out there just based on his genetics and conditioning alone.

I just don't know what the fair answer is in this case.

jamegumb 02-20-2013 07:41 AM

And it makes me wonder...

Quote:

Police: testosterone, needles in Pistorius bedroom

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) -- Police say they found two boxes of testosterone and needles in the bedroom of Oscar Pistorius, the Olympian who has been charged with murder in the shooting of his girlfriend.

etc.
http://sports.yahoo.com/news/poli...--spt.html

124nic8 02-20-2013 10:10 AM

If they allow prosthetics for Pistorius, they'd have to allow them for everyone.

Maybe not, if the prosthetics were exactly like a human leg, but the blades are not.

brbubba 02-20-2013 12:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 57705236)

The doping thing was recanted... sigh.

Although at this rate I seriously doubt he'll be competing anywhere. And if he does I'll bet the entire stadium boos him to death.

Rebound 02-20-2013 03:00 PM

Delete

Rebound 02-20-2013 03:04 PM

Make sure you don't mention that he killed his girlfriend with a gun. But if we're only talking about sports, it's ok.

Xygonn 02-20-2013 03:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rebound (Post 57717192)
Make sure you don't mention that he killed his girlfriend with a gun, or else they'll delete the thread. But if we're only talking about sports, it's ok. Just don't mention the gun.

Sure, he used a gun, and it was obtained under South Africa's extremely strict requirements. Are you suggesting event stricter requirements would have stopped this? Do you think an all out global ban on guns is right and necessary?

Rebound 02-20-2013 03:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xygonn (Post 57717298)
Sure, he used a gun, and it was obtained under South Africa's extremely strict requirements. Are you suggesting event stricter requirements would have stopped this? Do you think an all out global ban on guns is right and necessary?

If he didn't own a gun, this wouldn't have happened.

brbubba 02-20-2013 04:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rebound (Post 57717490)
If he didn't own a gun, this wouldn't have happened.

Interesting discussion on the Freakonomics podcast. Basically they said that by a significant margin pools are responsible for more child deaths than guns, but you don't hear people saying, "my child isn't going over there because they own a pool". Basically people are really really bad at judging statistics and how it applies to their everyday life.

Xygonn 02-20-2013 04:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rebound (Post 57717490)
If he didn't own a gun, this wouldn't have happened.

I agree that if he did not own a gun this event (as it transpired) would not have happened. I'm not sure that he wouldn't have just checked down to the cricket bat.

Gonna answer my questions?

jamegumb 02-20-2013 04:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brbubba (Post 57713114)
The doping thing was recanted... sigh.

Although at this rate I seriously doubt he'll be competing anywhere. And if he does I'll bet the entire stadium boos him to death.

Where did you get that it was recanted? I've been getting that it was argued by the prosecution and denied by the defense:

http://www.channel4.com/news/pist...say-police

Quote:

Investigating officer Hilton Botha told the second day of a bail hearing at Pretoria Magistrates' court that two containers of the drug testosterone and needles were discovered in the athlete's bedroom.

However in subsequent cross-examination Barry Roux, defence lawyer for Mr Pistorius, dismissed this claim, saying that the packages discovered by police were a herbal remedy that could be bought in any pharmacy: "It's not a steroid, and it's not a banned substance" he said.
FWIW - and back to the OP - if Pistorius was on steroids during the Olympics, if anything it bolsters the claim that the blades do not make a significant difference.

And of course this is insignificant compared to the recent events at his apartment...

Dr. J 02-20-2013 04:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brbubba (Post 57718330)
Interesting discussion on the Freakonomics podcast. Basically they said that by a significant margin pools are responsible for more child deaths than guns, but you don't hear people saying, "my child isn't going over there because they own a pool". Basically people are really really bad at judging statistics and how it applies to their everyday life.


heard the same podcast.... not to mention that there are many people that have guns that you'd never know....

riptide_slick 02-20-2013 04:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brbubba (Post 57718330)
Interesting discussion on the Freakonomics podcast. Basically they said that by a significant margin pools are responsible for more child deaths than guns, but you don't hear people saying, "my child isn't going over there because they own a pool". Basically people are really really bad at judging statistics and how it applies to their everyday life.

I hear people saying that all the time (myself included), except it's more along the lines of "my child isn't going over there because they own a pool and they don't have adequate fencing and protection around it."

Dr. J 02-20-2013 04:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 57705236)


"box of testosterone" sounds like it was literally a box with "testosterone" written on the side like government "CHEESE"

brbubba 02-20-2013 04:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 57718950)
Where did you get that it was recanted? I've been getting that it was argued by the prosecution and denied by the defense:

http://www.channel4.com/news/pist...say-police



FWIW - and back to the OP - if Pistorius was on steroids during the Olympics, if anything it bolsters the claim that the blades do not make a significant difference.

And of course this is insignificant compared to the recent events at his apartment...

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_1...testimony/

Quote:

Originally Posted by riptide_slick (Post 57719158)
I hear people saying that all the time (myself included), except it's more along the lines of "my child isn't going over there because they own a pool and they don't have adequate fencing and protection around it."

AFAIK, most states require fencing by law...

brbubba 02-20-2013 04:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr. J (Post 57719186)
"box of testosterone" sounds like it was literally a box with "testosterone" written on the side like government "CHEESE"

Heard on NPR that they were saying it had testo-something on it so they immediately assumed testosterone. :lol:

Man they bungled this case badly.

jamegumb 02-20-2013 05:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brbubba (Post 57719346)
Heard on NPR that they were saying it had testo-something on it so they immediately assumed testosterone. :lol:

Man they bungled this case badly.

I'd love to see more on that. Have they denied the needles? (Do people inject herbal supplements?)

Obviously I don't know all the facts. The weird part about it to me is: if you really want to kill someone, shooting through a bathroom door doesn't seem like the most effective way to do it.

But it's quite possible Pistorius wasn't thinking straight; could be drug or alcohol related.

EDIT to add: here's a Slate article on the testosterone / steroid debate/retraction from today:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_sl...today.html

It's hasty to call them "steroids", it seems. But it still may be testosterone.

riptide_slick 02-20-2013 05:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brbubba (Post 57719302)
AFAIK, most states require fencing by law...

OMG there's regulations for this?!?! What about my rights? ;)

j/k. AFAIK, at least in CA, that law only applies to *new* pool construction. And my point doesn't change just because there's a law in place for new pools. If there's no pool fence at a house, my kids aren't going to be going over there unless I'm with them the entire time.

brbubba 02-20-2013 05:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 57719510)
I'd love to see more on that. Have they denied the needles? (Do people inject herbal supplements?)

Obviously I don't know all the facts. The weird part about it to me is: if you really want to kill someone, shooting through a bathroom door doesn't seem like the most effective way to do it.

But it's quite possible Pistorius wasn't thinking straight; could be drug or alcohol related.

EDIT to add: here's a Slate article on the testosterone / steroid debate/retraction from today:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_sl...today.html

It's hasty to call them "steroids", it seems. But it still may be testosterone.

If you are a pro athlete I honestly would not be even remotely shocked to see injectable supplements in your home. About a decade ago I was researching a substance which is a natural antioxidant, but at the time wasn't considered effective if taken orally. So your only option would have been injection. So it's very plausible that athletes would be taking some odd shit in injectable form.

And yes, I would think before you shoot an intruder you'd want to at least see them first to make sure it was an intruder. If you hear noise coming from somewhere your first instinct shouldn't be to shoot and then ask questions later.

Rebound 02-21-2013 02:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brbubba (Post 57718330)
Interesting discussion on the Freakonomics podcast. Basically they said that by a significant margin pools are responsible for more child deaths than guns, but you don't hear people saying, "my child isn't going over there because they own a pool". Basically people are really really bad at judging statistics and how it applies to their everyday life.

That's great, if you want to listen to somebody lie to you and believe it, you're certainly entitled to that.

Yes, between ages 1 and 4, drowning is the leading cause of violet death [cdc.gov]... but it's fairly low -- about 500 per year. Between ages 15-24, guns kill over 5,000 people a year.

Overall, drowning is the 10th leading cause of injury death in America, while guns are the 3rd leading cause.

brbubba 02-21-2013 04:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rebound (Post 57726768)
That's great, if you want to listen to somebody lie to you and believe it, you're certainly entitled to that.

Yes, between ages 1 and 4, drowning is the leading cause of violet death [cdc.gov]... but it's fairly low -- about 500 per year. Between ages 15-24, guns kill over 5,000 people a year.

Overall, drowning is the 10th leading cause of injury death in America, while guns are the 3rd leading cause.

No one was lying to us nor have you proven that. Also what's the breakdown of gun related suicides? IMO, suicides should not be counted in any tallies of gun related deaths, because they will skew the results significantly. People hear gun related deaths and think murders, gang shootings, etc., when the majority of those gun related deaths were suicides.

Rebound 02-21-2013 11:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brbubba (Post 57727566)
No one was lying to us nor have you proven that. Also what's the breakdown of gun related suicides? IMO, suicides should not be counted in any tallies of gun related deaths, because they will skew the results significantly. People hear gun related deaths and think murders, gang shootings, etc., when the majority of those gun related deaths were suicides.

Have you ever asked yourself why so many "attempted suicides" fail? It turns out that people who attempt suicide really are trying to die. Having a gun obviously leads to a much higher chance of "success". But suicide is often a temporary state, brought on by treatable, temporary clinical depression.

When the Israeli Army started requiring soldiers to keep their weapons in a garrison instead of taking them home, suicides fell -- and they stayed down.

Maybe this brief, temporary state of depression could happen to you, or your beloved teenage son. So there's no doubt that America's 300 million guns lead to more "success" in suicides.

riznick 02-21-2013 03:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brbubba (Post 57719302)
AFAIK, most states require fencing by law...

It seems kinda dangerous to introduce swords to pools.


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:40 AM.


1999-2014