Inside Lines: No Pistorius ‘Oscar’ as Paralympic Games airbrush him from history


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The Independent Online

The International Paralympic Committee are in a twist over Oscar Pistorius. First, they said the six-times Paralympic champion, awaiting sentence for the culpable homicide of Reeva Steenkamp, could return to competition as soon as he has served whatever sentence he receives next month, maybe even as soon as Rio 2016.

Then the IPC’s British president and International Olympic Committee member Sir Philip Craven averred that the organisation would not promote any comeback, claiming: “The response we have made has been taken out of context.”

Subsequently comes the discovery that there was no mention of Pistorius, the most famed Paralympian, in their list of top 25 moments over the past 25 years selected by the 13 members of the IPC Board from 750 highlights submitted by the public. The IPC insist there was “no ulterior motive” in his absence and say he was mentioned further down the list.

Odd that, considering Pistorius’s many golden moments. Some might question whether trigger-happy Pistorius, once the Paralympian poster boy, and a history-making Olympian, has become an embarrassment to them, as OJ Simpson was to America’s gridiron, and is discreetly being airbrushed from history. It seems some of Pistorius’ fellow athletes may be turning against him.

American Olympic track star Sanya Richards-Ross, the 400m legend who was once a close friend, declares he should be banned for life. “There was a woman that ended up dead. I don’t think he should have the privilege of competing in the sport any more.” And British wheelchair quadruple gold medallist David Weir suggests that a return should be ruled out. “It would be a circus if he came back. The IPC should take a stand and rule him out altogether. The Paralympic movement should not be about one person.”

It’s fine for Fury

Good to have heavyweight boxer Dereck Chisora springing to my defence over this scribe’s exchange with his rival Tyson Fury which has led to the foul-mouthed Wilmslow giant being fined £15,000 by the British Boxing Board of Control.

“The last straw for me is when a veteran reporter – a guy who has been in the game for so many years – asks why he is swearing so much and he tells him to ‘F-off’,” declared Chisora, sitting alongside Fury at a press conference last week. “You can’t talk to people like that.”

There was no response from Fury, who took a vow of silence by wearing tape across his mouth, a gimmick once used by Muhammad Ali. Some may consider this is all Fury, due to meet Chisora in a return bout at London’s ExCel on 29 November, has in common with Ali.

All systems Coe

Despite renewed pressure from Downing Street and fellow Tory peers who now include Baroness Brady of Knightsbridge (aka Karren Brady of Upton Park), Lord Sebastian Coe will not run to succeed his pal Boris Johnson as mayor of London. He intends to concentrate on winning another election next year as he is well on track to become the overlord of world athletics.