LONDON (AP) — A month after his groundbreaking Olympic debut, Oscar Pistorius was reeling from a stunning upset Sunday in the London Paralympics.
The "Blade Runner" had never been beaten over 200 meters until Brazilian sprinter Alan Oliveira came storming down the home straight to win by 0.07 seconds and dethrone the icon of the Paralympics.
Pistorius later accused Oliveira of bending the rules.
Having won his own legal battle to compete wearing carbon-fiber blades alongside able-bodied rivals, Pistorius suggested that Oliveira ran with longer prosthetics than should be allowed.
Oliveira won in 21.45 seconds after overtaking Pistorius at the line at Olympic Stadium in front of a capacity 80,000-strong crowd.
"Not taking away from Alan's performance — he's a great athlete — but these guys are a lot taller and you can't compete (with the) stride length," Pistorius said in a broadcast interview. "You saw how far he came back. We aren't racing a fair race. I gave it my best. The IPC (International Paralympic Committee) have their regulations. The regulations (allow) that athletes can make themselves unbelievably high.
"We've tried to address the issue with them in the weeks up to this and it's just been falling on deaf ears."
For Pistorius, it is "ridiculous" that Oliveira could win after being eight meters adrift at the 100-meter mark.
"He's never run a 21-second race and I don't think he's a 21-second athlete," Pistorius said. "I've never lost a 200-meter race in my career."
Oliveira insisted he had not broken the rules, and expressed disappointment with Pistorius' criticism.