“[T]he Panel concludes that the only logical, principled and workable construction of the Rule is one that, in the case of disabled athletes who use a mechanical aid to overcome a disability, requires a comparison to be undertaken between the athlete’s likely athletic performance when using the mechanical aid and their likely athletic performance had they not had the disability which necessitates the use of that aid. A disabled athlete who uses a mechanical aid which does no more than offset the disadvantage caused by their disability cannot be said to have an “overall competitive advantage” over a non-disabled athlete who is not using such an aid. In such a case, the mechanical aid does no more than counteract a disadvantage which the able-bodied athlete does not share. Conversely, a disabled athlete who uses a mechanical aid which does not merely offset the disadvantage caused by their disability, but enables the athlete to achieve better overall performances than they would have achieved had not had that disability, can be said to have an “overall competitive advantage”.
Arbitration Award: CAS 2020/A/6807 Blake Leeper v. International Association of Athletics Federations
Deciding Blake Leeper’s (USA) case, finding his prosthesis make him run on an “unnaturally tall” stature, which give him a mechanical advantage vis-à-vis runner without prostheses.