For those who missed it in the Forum, here is a copy of Ken Jakalski’s post about Oscar Pistorius, the Cheetah Flex-Foot, the IAAF’s initial Cologne Report and the Houston Report:
Although there has been considerable discussion/debate on other sites over the recent decision regarding Oscar Pistorius, few had access to the official report. Below is part of that report. As you'll note during your reading, it appears as if one of the tests was indeed the ASR! I've highlighted in bold a couple of key points.The experts presented by Mr. Pistorius conducted their own tests on him and on able-bodied athletes as controls at a laboratory in Houston in February 2008 (the "Houston Report").Among other things, tests set out in the Houston Report found that Mr. Pistorius used the same oxygen amounts as able-bodied runners at a sub-maximal running speed, and thus did not have a metabolic advantage. Other tests also showed that Mr. Pistorius fatigued normally. Again, the experts agreed that these test results were valid. The Houston Report also tested the amount of energy loss from the Cheetah Flex-Foot prosthesis against the intact human leg, which includes tendons and other elements that generate positive energy(and which, for obvious reasons, an amputated athlete would not have). It is common ground that the Cologne Report did not measure any of these elements. In summary, the Panel determines that the IAAF has not met its "on the balance of probability" burden of proof that Rule 144.2(e) is contravened by Mr. Pistorius' use of the Cheetah Flex Foot prosthesis for several reasons. First, as noted above, a violation would only occur if the user of the prosthesis gained an overall net advantage over other runners, and the IAAF did not ask Prof. Bruggemann and his colleagues to make that determination.The terms of reference put to Prof. Bruggemann and his team by the IAAF did not propose the appropriate question.The testing protocol that he prepared for the purposes of writing the Cologne Report, on the basis of his instructions from the IAAF, was not designed to provide a scientific opinion as to whether Mr. Pistorius' Cheetah Flex-Foot prosthesis provided him with an overall net advantage over other athletes not using such devices. The point was stated clearly by Dr Locatelli in one of his press interviews, when he said, “…we are looking for advantages, not for disadvantages. The experts also agreed at the hearing that neither the Cologne nor Houston studies have quantified all of the possible advantages or disadvantages of Mr. Pistorius in a 400m race.”Secondly, the Panel is not persuaded that there is sufficient evidence of any metabolic advantage in favour of a double amputee using the Cheetah Flex-Foot. Certainly, the evidence presented in the Cologne Report is not capable of satisfying the burden of proof that is acknowledged by the IAAF. The IAAF seemed to recognize this fact at the hearing as it focused on the biomechanical aspects of the Cologne Report, and it acknowledged that most of the metabolic findings, including its blood lactate measurements, were not conclusive.Similarly, the IAAF has not proven the other basis of the IAAF Decision: namely that the biomechanical effects of using the particular prosthetic device give Mr Pistorius an advantage over other athletes not using the device. In the last conferencing session among the experts and the Panel, the experts accepted that comparisons between the effective energy that can be used to increase the speed of sprinters using natural legs and prosthetic legs cannot be treated as providing definitive conclusions in the light of current scientific knowledge. They could not opine with certainty that the conflicting hypotheses they were advancing were indeed more than improvable hypotheses. In particular, the scientists do not know if the fact that able-bodied runners create more vertical force than Mr. Pistorius is an advantage or disadvantage. There is at least some scientific evidence that sprinters, including 400m runners, train themselves to bounce more (ie, to use more vertical force) because it creates more speed. Thus, the Cologne Report's finding, on which the IAAF CAS 2008/A/1480 - Page 16 Decision relied, that Mr Pistorius uses less vertical force and runs in a flatter manner may be a disadvantage rather than an advantage. In addition, while the Cologne Report found less energy loss in the Cheetah Flex-Foot prosthesis than in the human ankle, the scientific experts all agreed that the energy "lost" in the ankle could be transferred elsewhere in the body, through tendons, ligaments and muscles etc, because the human body does not like to lose energy. They agreed that that such a transfer cannot be properly measured or currently understood. Thus, based on current scientific knowledge, it appears to be impracticable to assess definitively whether the Cheetah Flex-Foot prosthesis acts as more than, or less than, the human ankle and lower leg, in terms of "spring-like" quality. Moreover, the scientific experts agreed that a mechanical advantage provided by a prosthetic leg would be expected to lead to a metabolic advantage for a runner. As noted above, neither the Cologne Report nor the Houston Report showed such a metabolic advantage. In the light of the Panel's analysis of the facts, the scientific expert opinions and the legal principles involved, the Panel has no doubt in finding that the IAAF has failed to satisfy the burden of proof that it accepts. It follows that Mr Pistorius' appeal must be upheld. The Panel is re-enforced in reaching this conclusion by the fact that the Cheetah Flex-Foot prosthesis has been in use for a decade, and yet no other runner using them - either a single amputee or a double amputee - has run times fast enough to compete effectively against able-bodied runners until Mr. Pistorius has done so. In effect, these prior performances by other runners using the prosthesis act as a control for study of the benefits of the prosthesis and demonstrate that even if the prosthesis provided an advantage, and as noted none has been proven, it may be quite limited.
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