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International Law

Dewey & LeBoeuf To Represent Double Amputee Oscar Pistorius In Bid To Qualify For Beijing Olympics

LONDON, NEW YORK and JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee runner who is seeking to qualify for the 400m event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but who was banned from doing so by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) -- announced Tuesday that the appeal of his status before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has been scheduled for a hearing on April 29 and 30. This timing should permit a decision with enough time for Mr. Pistorius to continue his quest to qualify for the Olympics.

Mr. Pistorius recently submitted his appeal brief to the CAS, together with test results which rebut the IAAF's assertion that Mr. Pistorius has an advantage over able-bodied runners. The testing of Mr. Pistorius was performed by a world renown team of experts led by Professor Hugh M. Herr of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and including Professor Rodger Kram of the University of Colorado, Dr. Jean-Benoit Morin of the University of Saint-Etienne in France, Professor Peter G. Weyand of Rice University, Professor Matthew W. Bundle of the University of Wyoming, Dr. Craig P. McGowan, who is conducting research at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Dr. Alena Grabowski, who is conducting research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  The CAS arbitration panel will review the matter without any required deference to the IAAF's decision to ban Mr. Pistorius.

In response to the expedited schedule being set, Mr. Pistorius said: "I am very appreciative of the Court of Arbitration for Sport setting a schedule that will allow a decision in time for me to pursue my goal of qualifying for the Olympics. This case is important not just to me, but to all disabled persons who just ask for the chance to compete fairly on the sporting field with able-bodied athletes."

Mr. Pistorius is represented in the case, on a pro bono basis, by the international law firm of Dewey & LeBoeuf, with a team headed by partners Jeffrey Kessler, Marco Consonni and David Feher. Mr. Kessler said: "We look forward to presenting the evidence to the panel. Oscar will finally get his chance to be heard." The experts who conducted the testing of Mr. Pistorius also are working on this matter without any compensation.

Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP is a full-service law firm, providing legal counsel throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the United States. With over 1,400 attorneys in virtually every major capital market, the firm represents national and international corporations, financial institutions and government agencies in their most complex legal matters. For more information, visit our Web site at