Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee who came to be known as "Blade Runner" during the 2012 Olympics, has apologized for criticizing his opponent after losing to him in the 200-meter final on Sunday.
Pistorius was bested by Brazilian runner Alan Oliveria Sunday during the last 20 meters of the Paralympics' race, complaining afterwards that Oliveria's blades were too long and raised concerns over rules that allow athletes to make themselves "unnaturally tall."
Oliveira said that the criticism from someone he considers an "idol" was difficult to hear, BBC News reported.
"The length of my blades is all right," he said. "I went through all the procedures with the referees. I believe Pistorius also knows that."
"I would never want to detract from another athlete's moment of triumph and I want to apologize for the timing of my comments," the South African runner, who was one of the protagonists of the London Olympics, said in a statement, ESPN reported.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said that Oliveria's blades, just like all athletes, were determined by a formula based on height and dynamics laid out in regulations set two years ago, and that he was not in violation, ABC News reported.
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"I do believe that there is an issue here and I welcome the opportunity to discuss with the IPC, but I accept that raising these concerns immediately as I stepped off the track was wrong," Pistorius said. "That was Alan's moment and I would like to put on record the respect I have for him. I am a proud Paralympian and believe in the fairness of sport. I am happy to work with the IPC, who obviously share these aims."
The IPC has invited Pistorius to meet with them formally later in the month so that "raise his questions in a formal environment away from the emotion of the stadium," according ABC News.
However, not everyone is so quick to forgive the athlete's comments: CBS Sports columnist Gregg Doyel called Pistorius a hypocrite for his outburst.
"He [Pistorius] was OK racing runners at the Summer Olympics whose lower legs were heavier than his...and whose ankles had to expend energy to do what his bouncy, carbon-fiber prosthetics were doing automatically," Doyle wrote. "He was OK with a technological edge, when it helped him. But he wasn't OK with a technological edge on Sunday, when it didn't."