Oscar Pistorius is no stranger to controversy, but this may the first time he finds himself in the middle of a debate involving a member of the animal kingdom.
The so-called "Blade Runner" defeated an Arabian horse in a 100-meter race on Wednesday as part of the Definitely Able campaign to demonstrate the extraordinary capabilities of disabled athletes.
Questions have been raised as to the race's legitimacy, however. The South African notes that Pistorius was given a 15-meter head-start while the horse was visibly restrained by his jockey.
In addition, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA raised objections to the animal's treatment.
"The horse, it would appear, was excessively, unnecessarily and cruelly whipped from start to finish while being held back by the jockey who clearly showed absolutely no consideration for the horse’s welfare," the CoGH SPCA said in a statement, as reported by The Citizen.
Pistorius, a double-amputee and Olympian, responded that he was not privy to any mistreatment the horse may have faced, while professing his love for animals.
"I participated in the race in good faith as it was to promote abilities across sport and I was totally unaware of any alleged excessive force being used on the horse," he told The South African. "I don’t condone any ill-treatment of animals. Those who know me are aware of my [well-publicized] love of animals."
Only a handful of runners in history have defeated a horse in a race, including four-time gold-medalist Jesse Owens, who was forced to race animals in order to make money when he was precluded from landing endorsement deals due to his race, ESPN notes.