LONDON — Oscar Pistorius apologized Monday for the timing of his complaints about a rival's blades following his defeat in the Paralympic 200-meter final, but insisted that officials need to change the rules to prevent some runners from getting an unfair advantage.
The so-called "Blade Runner" was surging to a third straight 200-meter gold Sunday night when he was overtaken close to the finish by Alan Oliveira, who is also a double amputee.
Pistorius then criticized Oliveira within minutes of the upset, claiming the Brazilian used longer carbon fiber prosthesis than should be allowed.
Paralympic officials insisted Monday that Oliveira did not break the rules and that the blades had been approved, and Pistorius said he should have waited before launching his outburst.
"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 said in a statement.
But the International Paralympic Committee has already agreed to meet with Pistorius to discuss his grievances over the formula used to calculate the acceptable length of blades.
"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."
Pistorius himself spent years fighting to convince the sports authorities that his blades didn't give him an unfair advantage against able-bodied athletes, and that he should be allowed to compete in the Olympics.
He finally won his case in 2008 at the Court of Arbitration for Sport and made his Olympic debut a month ago, reaching the 400 semifinals and the 4x400 relay final.