January 11, 2008 15:07 ET

Statement by Ossur Regarding Bilateral Amputee Oscar Pistorius' Bid to Participate in IAAF-Sanctioned Events, and Ultimately the Olympics

REYKJAVIK, ICELAND--(Marketwire - January 11, 2008) - Ossur has reviewed the test results and expects the IAAF to allow Oscar Pistorius to compete because we are confident that the prostheses he is using, which we make, do not give him a technical advantage over able-bodied runners. Any other ruling on the part of the IAAF would only raise the question, "are we not ready to have amputees on the Olympic stage?"

Specifically, the breadth of the testing commissioned by the IAAF was incomplete and inconclusive insofar as determining with any certainty whether Mr. Pistorius' prostheses are giving him an unfair advantage. We hold Professor Bruggemann's clinical expertise with Olympic athletes in high regard. However, upon review of his findings, we have determined that there are aspects of his results that demand further investigation and require consensus among experts familiar with athletics and the amputee sprinter.

Thirty years of experience in the research and testing of prosthetic limb technology have taught us that the prosthesis is what makes amputees whole and able to engage in activities such as walking and running. Amputees also view themselves as whole-bodied when wearing their prosthesis. To test a prosthesis separately as a component, and not as a completely integrated part of the amputee's body, generates data that is technically incomplete and flawed. Unfortunately, the IAAF took this approach.

Importantly, the technology used in Mr. Pistorius' Cheetah Flex-Foot prosthetic feet has existed since 1997, and has not experienced any significant updates since that time. Scores of amputee athletes have used the very same product to compete at an international level of sport over the years. Some have come close to able-bodied world record times, but what we have in Mr. Pistorius is an extraordinary athlete: one that has taken technology that has existed for over a decade and pushed it to its very limit.

In light of this, we feel strongly that any judgment against Mr. Pistorius at this stage and based on insufficient information, would be irresponsible and unfair, and that he should be allowed to participate at IAAF-sanctioned events -- as long as his times qualify him to do so.

The past few years have been enlightened and remarkable times for active amputees who have worked so hard and overcome so many challenges to at last experience the opportunity to compete alongside able-bodied athletes. It would be unfortunate and regrettable to take such a giant step backwards when we are presented with this occasion to partner with the IAAF and show the world how equal we all truly are.


Ossur (ICEX: OSSR) is as much about helping people to live a life without limitations as it is about its orthopaedic products. A trusted and global leader in the development, manufacturing, distribution, sales and marketing of bracing and support products and prosthetics, Ossur pioneers award-winning designs -- including its Bionic Technology platform -- and partners with the health practitioners who use them to deliver successful clinical and business outcomes. Headquartered in Reykjavik, Iceland, the company has operations and a distribution network throughout the world. The company allocates an industry record of 6-8 percent of its revenue on research and development to conceive and harness the most advanced technologies for incorporation in its product designs, and provides extensive education programs through the Ossur Academy. Ossur is a 2006 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer. Website:

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