The latter is engaging in “technical doping,” czyz complained after his sprint finish. Popov, a transfemoral amputee, received an artificial knee joint from his outfitter ottobock that was withheld from other athletes until shortly before the start of the games in london, czyz said on friday morning. A spokesman for the prosthesis manufacturer rejected the accusations as groundless.
Czyz said he and other athletes had made a request to buy the knee model months ago. “Then i was told, this knee is reserved for heinrich popow”, said czyz. “For me, this is the parade discipline of technical doping.” ottobock spokesman rudiger herzog called the accusation “psychoterror” and stressed: “we are partners of the paralympics and abide by the rules. The knee has been available for a long time.”
This is the crucial point in the dispute: even czyz conceded that the joint was available as prescribed before the start of the games. However, the market launch came so close to the paralympics that it was simply impossible for athletes to get used to the knee in time. Popov, who is under contract to ottobock, is the only athlete in london to run with the prosthesis and has also been able to train with it for a long time.
The benefits are striking: “if an athlete improves his 200-meter time by seven tenths of a second, that speaks volumes,” said czyz. Even popow’s trainer had admitted that such components had to be available a year before the games. He wanted his rival “nothing malicious, but equal opportunities must be there,” the kaiserslauterner demanded. In the paralympics sprinter field the displeasure is great.
Popow called the accusations against the “bild” newspaper “total humbug” and “a typical mind game of wojtek.”The bronze medalist in the 200-meter dash had run the best time in the 100-meter preliminary race earlier in the day, distancing himself from scott reardon of australia and czyz. The final will take place in the evening.
Czyz was not happy about his third-best time. With a rant in the catacombs of the olympic stadium, he once again brought the issue of fairness at the paralympics into focus. “If you give yourself an advantage like that, then for me it”s not a paralympic sport, it”s simply a battle of materials. Then the winner is no longer the best athlete, but the one with the best material. If that”s the case, then good night.”
The team reacted with astonishment to czyz"s performance. The german chef de mission karl quade told the news agency dpa: "that’s a pity. But I can not prevent this. The athletes are adults and will not be muzzled."He now wanted to call in czyz and his coach for a clear discussion.