When Science Collides: The Blake Leeper Controversy Unpacked

The question as to whether disabled athletes with prosthetic limbs can compete in able-bodied events has been steeped in controversy since the days of Oscar Pistorius in 2009. But since American Blake Leeper hit the headlines in 2019 the debate has been re-ignited with two groups of scientists on opposing sides. We speak to one of the world's foremost biomechanical experts - Dr Peter Weyand, Professor of applied physiology and biomechanics at Southern Methodist University in Dallas - to break down his side of an intriguing15-year-old saga.


This week’s caught my eye, on Triathlon’s inaction on shoe technology: https://www.triathlete.com/culture/news/world-triathlon-confirms-idens-imwc-shoes-not-illegal-no-rules-on-running-shoes/

Some background on the Kenyan doping cases this year, including the “new drug” (old to cycling fans), triamcinolone: https://www.letsrun.com/news/2022/10/2021-boston-marathon-champ-diana-kipyokei-suspended-and-her-agent-doesnt-hold-back-diana-is-completely-guilty-i-am-sorry/

Peter Weyand’s Locomotor lab YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/LocomotorLabSMU

Peter Weyand’s most recent article on double amputees and sprint performance: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.220397

The “compromise” paper by Weyand et al prior to the debate and split in the research team: https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/japplphysiol.00174.2009

Peter Weyand’s counterpoint response that concludes a 12s advantage to Pistorius: https://journals.physiology.org/doi/pdf/10.1152/japplphysiol.01238.2009a

The CAS Decision on the first Leeper appeal, including the remarkable claims about Leeper’s true ability (372 & 373): https://www.tas-cas.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Award__6807___for_publication_.pdf

The World Athletics Mechanical Aid Review Panel decision when Leeper appealed the first CAS decision: https://www.worldathletics.org/news/press-releases/world-athletics-panel-decision-application-from-blake-leeper

CAS Summary of the second decision in the Leeper appeal: https://www.tas-cas.org/fileadmin/user_upload/CAS_Media_Release_7930.pdf

Get bonus content on Patreon

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.