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PROTRACK » International Results & News » Oscar Pistorius walks out of BBC interview after insult

Oscar Pistorius walks out of BBC interview after insult

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Medal winning: Oscar Pistorius competes in the 4x400m relay

Furious Pistorius blasts 'insulting' interviewer over 'embarrassment' claim

By Sportsmail Reporter
UK Daily Mail
6th September 2011

Oscar Pistorius stormed out of a radio interview after being asked if he considered himself 'an inconvenient embarrassment' to athletics authorities.

Double amputee Pistorius, known as the 'Blade Runner', became the first Paralympian to win an able-bodied World Championship medal on Saturday when he helped South Africa take silver in the 4x400 metres relay.

However, he was controversially dropped from the final after running in the heats in Daegu, a decision that upset the 24-year-old.

And he was angered again when asked on BBC Radio Four how his participation might be viewed by South African authorities and the IAAF, who were forced to allow him to take part in able-bodied events by a Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling three years ago.

Interviewer Rob Bonnet asked: 'Some people regard you, no doubt, as an inspiration to Paralympic athletes, no question about that.

'But it might also be said that you're a inconvenient embarrassment to the South African authorities and the IAAF because, effectively, you're taking them into uncharted ethical waters here. What's your reaction to that?'

Pistorius replied: 'I think that's an insult to me and I think this interview is over.

Bonnet protested his question was not intended as an 'insult' but Pistorius hit back: 'That is an insult. Thank you very much.'

Pistorius also rejected fellow Paralympic legend Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson's call for him to be prevented from running at the 2012 Games if he competes at the Olympics.

Grey-Thompson said last week: 'If he makes the Olympics then his 400m event should not be run at the Paralympics because the Paralympics should never be a B final.'

Asked if he could see her point of view, Pistorius said: 'Absolutely not - not at all.'

Indeed, 100m, 200m and 400m Paralympic champion Pistorius is determined to double up next year.

'I want to compete in both,' he told BBC Breakfast TV. 'I will be running the 100m, 200m and 400m in the Paralympics.

'I've got to run one more qualification time for the Olympics between January and June next year.'

In a statement, a BBC spokesperson said: 'This was a frank interview which, as we acknowledged on air, didn't end as we would have hoped.

'Oscar Pistorius has been a focus for controversy and ethical debate in sport. This interview reflected that controversy, but it was never intended to cause offence.'

"Let's Go While We're Young"

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