The news that Oscar Pistorius, the disabled athlete known as the 'Blade Runner', will be able to try to represent his country in the Olympic Games is welcome and timely.

In that same spirit, RADAR and the UK Sports Association for People with Learning Disability (UKSA) are calling on the British Government and sporting bodies to do everything they can to persuade the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to overturn its ban on athletes with learning disability, which was imposed in 2000, and to ensure adequate funding is available to secure their future for London 2012.

As one talented disabled athlete celebrates being allowed to represent his country, many more are dismayed and despairing at a cruel ban which prevents them from representing theirs.

In a joint statement Liz Sayce, Chief Executive of RADAR, and Tracey McCillen, National Director of UKSA, said:

"The clock is ticking for the London 2012 Games. If this ban is not rescinded before the end of this year it will be too late for the affected athletes to obtain funding and to begin the rigorous training regimes needed to compete in 2012. If that happens another generation of talented athletes will be needlessly denied the opportunity to represent their countries at the highest level thanks to needless continuation of this draconian IPC ruling."

Notes

- RADAR, the UK's largest disability campaigning network, is a national non-governmental organization working for the rights of disabled people, from the broadest range of cultural, racial and social backgrounds, irrespective of their impairment.

- RADAR's vision is about pushing out the boundaries of the expected; a vision of a world where human difference is routinely anticipated, expertly accommodated and positively celebrated.

- RADAR's vision is of a world where human difference is routinely anticipated, expertly accommodated and positively celebrated.

- RADAR's People of the Year Human Rights Awards 2007 (the only event in Europe that honours contributions made towards the furtherance of human rights for disabled people) was held on the 3rd December 2007 - the International Day for Disabled People. Please see who won at: radar/radarwebsite/tabid/163/default.aspx.

- The Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation (RADAR) is a company limited by guarantee registered in England no.1295856 and a registered charity no. 273150

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