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On 30 May 2016, Markus Rehm (MR), the outstanding Paralympic long jumper whose personal best would have won gold at the London Olympics,1 announced his desire to participate in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games to the world's media. Critically, MR, who is a unilateral below-knee amputee, uses a long jump-specific prosthesis (LJSP) and he supported his case for inclusion using results of a scientific study in which he participated.2
According to the IAAF rules, the use of a mechanical aid is not permitted unless the athlete can establish that ‘on the balance of probabilities’, its use would not provide an overall competitive advantage over an athlete not using such an aid.3 On 17 June the IAAF President stated: “…at this stage he [MR] has not been able to do that [prove no advantage]”.4
At the time of writing the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) had not expanded on their announcement. However, given the importance of MR's case for athletics stakeholders and for sport in general, the scientific report …
Disclaimer All authors of this manuscript write in a personal capacity and not on behalf of any organisation/s. Sean Tweedy, Mark Connick and Emma Beckman are members of the IPC Classification Research and Development Centre (physical impairments). Sean Tweedy is also appointed to the IPC Classification Committee and the IPC Athletics Classification Advisory Group.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.