Athletics: Amputee Leeper's application to compete with running blades rejected

(Reuters) - World Athletics have rejected an application from American double amputee Blake Leeper to run on particular running specific prostheses (RSPs), preventing him from competing in the Olympics or World Athletics events.

The governing body said the mechanical passive-elastic carbon-fibre blades gave him a leg length of 104 centimetres and a standing height of 184 centimetres, which gives him a competitive advantage over athletes not using such aids.

World Athletics has a Maximum Allowable Standing Height (MASH) rule that prevents disabled athletes from "over-compensating for the absence of a missing limb" and was applied in Leeper's case.

"The decision means Mr Leeper cannot compete wearing these new RSPs at World Athletics' major international events... or the Olympic Games," World Athletics said in a statement on Monday.

Leeper will be allowed to use the blades in other international competitions but his results will not be recognised and they will be listed separately.

In October, Leeper lost his appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against a ban on the running blades that allow him to compete with able-bodied athletes, which ended his chances of taking part at the Tokyo Olympics.

Leeper, 31, who was born without legs below the knees, finished fifth in the 400 meters at the U.S. championships in 2019 but was barred from competing at the subsequent world championships in Doha.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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