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  • Oscar Pistorius Takes IAAF to Court


    Oscar Pistorius has yet to achieve a sprint time that qualifies for the 2008 Games. (Getty Images)  
    Oscar Pistorius Appeals to CAS

    As promised, double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius filed an appeal to the highest court of sport to overturn the International Association of Athletics Federations ruling that he is ineligible to compete with able-bodied runners.

    The 21-year-old South African told the Court of Arbitration for Sport he does not gain an unfair advantage from his Cheetah prosthetic blades. An independent German study found the blades give Pistorius a significant mechanical advantage.

    "I am filing this appeal not just for myself, but for all disabled athletes. We deserve a chance to compete at the highest levels if our bodies permit us to do so," says Pistorius.

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport confirms it has opened a procedure after receiving a statement of appeal from Pistorius. When a ruling is made, it will be binding on both Pistorius and the IAAF. Spokesmen for the IAAF could not be reached for comment.

    Pistorius has previously said that he will focus on the 2012 Games in London because he expects legal proceedings to take too long for him to qualify for the South African team this year.

    Arbitration at CAS typically takes six months to one year.

    Federation Briefs...

    The president of the World Curling Federation marks the 10 years of Olympic curling with friendly words for Nagano. "The World Curling Federation pays tribute to the members of the NAOC organizing committee, the volunteers and to the town of Karuizawa, hosts of the 1998 Olympic curling event," says Les Harrison in a statement marking the Feb. 15 anniversary.

    "Curling leaped into the sporting consciousness of the entire world that year, and has continued to ever since, as remarkable television interest and grass roots growth has shown through Salt Lake 2002 and Turin 2006," he continued.

    Top male tennis players will earn ranking points at the Beijing Olympics, according to the Association of Tennis Professionals. During the 2000 and 2004 Games,
    Each year since the 1998 Games, the Nagano curling venue has hosted an international invitational curling tournament. (Getty Images)  
    the ATP also awarded ranking points, in part to make sure the top players appear at the Olympics. The ATP rankings will help determine 56 tickets to the Games, but each country may only send a maximum of six players. The pro women's governing body – the Women's Tennis Association – made a similar announcement about points in July 2007.

    The International Biathlon Union invites submissions in a new photography contest. Professional photographers at the World Championships now underway in Ostersund, Sweden, can submit a photo before the event ends on Feb. 17. The top photo – chosen by an online vote at – wins a $1,500 prize. Starting
    Khalifa stadium in Doha underwent extensive expansion ahead of the 2006 Asian Games, more than doubling capacity to 50,000 seats. (Getty Images)  
    with the 2008-2009 season, the contest will become a regular event at World Cups and the Championships.

    The International Triathlon Union has awarded four world championships for 2009 and 2010. Next year, the Duathlon World Championships will be in Concord, North Carolina, in the U.S.; the Long Distance Triathlon worlds will be in Perth, Australia. The next year, Edinburgh, Scotland, will host the duathlon worlds and Immenstadt, Germany, will host the long distance competition. Dates have yet to be confirmed.

    FIFA president Sepp Blatter says Doha has the facilities to host a World Cup. "I am truly impressed by the existing football infrastructure in the country. The playing facilities in Doha can easily host any FIFA event, in my opinion," Blatter said during a trip to the city earlier this week. In a separate statement over the weekend, Blatter urged European club teams to be sympathetic to overage players who want time off to play in the Olympics. He says a release of over-23 players is not compulsory. "Still, for any player, the Olympic Football Tournament represents a highlight of his career and I hope that a solution can be found," he said.

    Homepage photo by Getty Images

    Written by
    Eric Conelly and Maggie Lee.

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