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German amputee long jumper won’t fight European Championships exclusion

Jul 31, 2014, 1:19 PM EDT

Markus Rehm AP

German national long jump champion Markus Rehm will not fight his federation’s decision to leave him off its roster for August’s European Championships because of a possible competitive advantage due to having a prosthetic right leg.

“I am not going to take any judicial steps,” Rehm said, according to The Associated Press, adding that he wanted to respect other athletes chosen for the team. “But I will use all possibilities to prove that I got no advantage. People should not think that I won only because of the prosthesis. That would be an extremely false idea.”

Rehm, whose leg was amputated below the knee after a boating accident at age 14, won a 2012 Paralympic long jump gold medal with a 7.35m jump, then a world record in his division.

Rehm jumped 8.24m to win the German title on Saturday, a personal best. That distance placed fifth at the 2013 World Championships and would have won a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics and a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday, over Olympic champion Greg Rutherford.

The European Championships, the biggest meet of the year for German track athletes, are Aug. 12-17 in Zurich, Switzerland.

Tests were performed on Rehm’s prosthetic leg between his victory Saturday and the team announcement Wednesday to determine if he gained a competitive advantage from either running on it or jumping off of it.

The president of Germany’s track and field governing body said there was “significant doubt” that jumps on a prosthetic leg and a natural leg were comparable, according to The Associated Press. He also said Rehm might receive an extra “catapult effect.”

The German track and field federation said Thursday it would conduct more tests and consult with the German Olympic Committee, according to the AP.

“More analysis is needed until a comprehensive picture is achieved,” Rehm said.

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  1. entitymn - Jul 31, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    Time to call Mythbusters. Tape him sprinting. Use the slow-mo. Don’t tell him what you are measuring. If his flat sprinting strides pushing off with his right foot are measurably longer than with his left, there is a case. I would love to see him be able to scientifically prove it is not an advantage, and be allowed to participate.

  2. doctorrustbelt - Aug 1, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    Researchers found that murderer/sprinter oscar pistorius limbs were 20% lighter.

    So… let’s just assume that Markus Rehm’s legs are about 10% lighter.

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