Before hitting the track to compete in an officially sanctioned race, some elite Paralympic sprinters must do something most runners would find incredibly unsettling: remove their legs and swap them out with ones that make them shorter.

The unusual mandate results from a recent International Paralympic Committee rule change that lowered the Maximum Allowable Standing Height (MASH) for double, below-the-knee amputees racing in prosthetic legs. The rule, intended to prevent unfair advantages, stems from the long-held assumption that greater height equals greater speed.

But a small, first-of-its kind University of Colorado Boulder study published today in the journal PLOS ONE concludes that isn’t the case.

Source: For ‘blade runners’ taller doesn’t necessarily mean faster: Rule limiting height for Paralympic sprinters is baseless – ScienceDaily