Some Olympic officials have been privately expressing relief that the so-called ‘Blade Runner’ Oscar Pistorius failed to qualify for the 400m final at the London 2012 Olympics. “Look, I’m as much in favour of the disabled competing equally at sports as the next man, but we all know where allowing that Oscar Pistorius to compete alongside able-bodied athletes will end, don’t we?” Leon Bazonga, vice president of the Norfolk Islands Olympic Committee, told The Sleaze. “ If he starts winning medals , then every two-legged runner out there will start having their own legs amputated and replaced with blades in order to keep up.” Bazonga has sparked controversy by claiming that he has evidence of several athletics coaches approaching shady orthopaedic surgeons, with a view to equipping their athletes with high performance prosthetics. “Obviously, there’s no way they could have anyone ready for the 2012 Games, but they’re planning ahead for Rio in 2016,” he asserts. “Once one top sprinter does it, then everyone else will be forced to follow – that’s the sole reason Pistorius was allowed to participate this time around: to set a precedent!” The official believes that the artificial surgical enhancement of athletes is inevitable. “How else are they going to keep breaking records? How much faster can anyone run the hundred metres?” he asks. “Usain Bolt has really raised the bar – if you can’t run faster than him by training harder and drugs aren’t allowed anymore, then bionic legs are surely the only answer!”

Others in the Olympic movement suspect that the move toward prosthetics is being fuelled by unscrupulous medical equipment suppliers and surgeons. “It’s like when the drug dealers first started pushing steroids and performance enhancing drugs to coaches and athletes – it was a huge new untapped market for them,” opines Norbert Wallingballs, a former Olympic buttock skier. “It’s the same with these medical guys – the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have advanced the technology of prosthetic limbs incredibly, but with Iraq over and Afghanistan winding down, the market for them is drying up. Clearly, they see international athletics as the next big opportunity: with the increased sponsorship of high profile sports and medal prospects, the sport is awash with money!” Wallingballs also believes that some of the sport’s sponsors could also be pressurising athletes into considering the voluntary amputations of limbs and their replacement with high-tech prosthetics. “It’s inevitable that the likes of Nike and Addidas will want a slice of the action – producing fully-branded specialised sports prosthetics is the next logical step for them,” he says. “Obviously, if they are going to sell similar stuff to the public, then they’ll want to see the world’s top athletes using them to win medals!”

Whilst the claims of Bazonga and Wallingballs have generally been met with ridicule within the Olympic community, a top surgeon has claimed that he has been approached by at least one top Olympic athlete with regard to voluntary amputations. “Obviously, I can’t go into details, or name names, but the person concerned was a leading medal contender in their sport,” Sir Robert Groinstedder recently told a UK tabloid. “They told me that they only wanted the left leg amputated and replaced, to ‘get a feel’ for it – if they found that the new left leg was consistently overtaking the right one, then they’d consider a second amputation. Obviously, I refused. Not only would such an operation have been unethical, it would have been bloody stupid as well.” Nonetheless, Groinstedder suspects that other surgeons might not be so scrupulous. “With cuts to Health Service funding biting, I’m sure that some of my colleagues might see the emerging sports prosthetics market as an alternative source of funds,” he mused. “I’ve heard rumours of a specialist clinic being set up, where athletes can come in on a Monday, have their legs whipped off on a Tuesday, prosthetics fitted on the Thursday and be back in training the next Monday!”

Some Olympians are worried that the inclusion of a disabled athlete in the Olympics could have serious consequences other than a proliferation of maimings amongst able-bodied competitors. “It sets a dangerous precedent – if we let one in, then we’ll have to let the others in. Before you know it the marathon dominated by bloody wheelchairs,” former Olympic straining champion Mike Ballstrap confided to The Sleaze. “It isn’t as if they don’t have their own games. I mean, how would they like it if we started entering the Paralympics, eh? They’d soon be calling foul if we started winning their medals!” Indeed, Ballstrap fears that if a disabled athlete were to eventually win a medal in the main Olympics, there would be a tit-for-tat retaliation by able-bodied sportsmen and women. “We could see the Paralympics overrun by sprinters, swimmers and cyclists feigning minor disabilities,” he says. “Let’s face it, cutting off an arm would be a small sacrifice to make for winning the hundred metres gold, wouldn’t it?”

Nevertheless, Bazonga remains convinced that the real threat posed by allowing Oscar Pistorius to compete at London 2012 lies in the increased use of prosthetics by future Olympians. “I shudder to think of the consequences,” he sighs. “The example it will set for aspiring young athletes is appalling – I fear that we’ll see kids performing home amputations and trying to fit their own prosthetics. Trust me, before you know it we’ll see prospective runners trying to cut their feet off with rusty hacksaws and replace them homemade lightweight false ones made from wire coat hangers.” Bazonga fears that the use of prosthetics could spread far beyond running if the International Olympic Committee fail to act. “If runners with false legs start winning gold medals then next thing you know, high jumpers will be cutting off their feet and replacing them with springs and shot putters will be having one arm replaced with a slingshot,” he warns. “Trust me, this isn’t a path we want to go down – it will make a mockery of the sport if we start allowing athletes to use prosthetics. You might as well legalise the use of performance enhancing drugs.”