Blades of fury: Paralympic posterboy Oscar Pistorius loses 200m final but claims rival's longer 'legs' gave him unfair advantage
'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius said sorry today for the timing of his bitter post-race outburst in which he suggested Paralympic rival Alan Fonteles Oliveira unfairly used longer artificial legs to seal gold in the T44 200 metres. In an embittered televised interview Pistorius claimed he was at a disadvantage because rival competitors were using longer carbon fibre prosthetic blades - giving them a greater stride. But there appeared to be little sympathy today for the man who has become a household sporting name in recent months and symbolizes for many the remarkable determination and ingenuity of the Paralympic movement. Scroll down for video
Bitter: Oscar Pistorius claimed opponents used longer 'blades' for unfair advantage
Dispute: Alan Oliveira of Brazil (left) crosses the line ahead of pre-race favourite Oscar Pistorius of South Africa (right) to win gold in the Men's 200m - T44 final. Pistorius claimed his rival had an unfair advantage
Close finish: Silver medalist Oscar Pistorius and 200m winner Alan Oliveira appeared to put the controversy behind them as they hugged at today's medal ceremony
Pistorius said his complaint was aimed not at his rival, but at the International Paralympic Committee for failing to act over the length of some athletes' blades after Oliveira, wearing noticeably longer ones, came from way back Sunday night to pip him at the line. The Brazilian took gold in 21.45 seconds, leaving Pistorius to settle for silver, coming home in 21.52 seconds with stunned quiet from the 80,000 spectators greeting the result that Pistorius went on to describe as 'ridiculous'. Ironically, Pistorius has faced similar opposition himself from some who claim he should not be allowed to compete against able-bodied athletes as he did last month in the Olympics - because his own blades could in theory give him some sort of advantage. 'We're not running in a fair race here,' he told Channel 4 moments after the shock finish. 'I can't compete with Alan's stride length. 'Some athletes make themselves unbelievably high - the knee heights are four inches higher than they should be. 'We have spoken to the IPC but it has fallen on deaf ears. Guys are coming from nowhere to run ridiculous times.' Close contest: Race winner Alan Oliveira (left) wore longer prosthetic blades than Oscar Pistorius (right), giving him a greater stride length
Disappointment: South Africa's Oscar Pistorius looks dejected after finishing second in the race
Upset: Brazil's Alan Oliveira (left) celebrates in front of South Africa's Oscar Pistorius (right) after claiming a shock victory in the 200m race
A Paralympics official confirmed Tuesday that Pistorius had complained on two previous occasions this summer about the length of a rival athlete's blades, though he was not referring to Oliveira.
However the South African's argument was challenged by a number of observers who noted that Pistorius took 92 steps while Oliveira took 98 - suggesting the key factor was leg speed rather than stride length. The athlete himself released a further statement today, but while he said he regretted the timing of his comments he did not back down over his concerns. Triumphant: Oliveira embarks on a victory lap after winning gold at the Paralympics
'The crowd is exactly the same, as passionate, as exciting.
'It feels like you might as well be running in the Olympics. It's mind-blowing.' Head to head: Alan Oliveira's longer blades made him taller than Pistorius, which the South African said gave him an advantage in the race