By Oliver Pickup
11:04AM BST 17 Jul 2012
The American, winner of Olympic gold medals in the 400m in 1996 and 2000, was talking specifically about Oscar Pistorius, the South African known as ‘blade runner’.
While he stressed that he considers Pistorius, who has been allowed to compete at the London Games in the able-bodied 400m, as a friend, the Dallas-born sprinter revealed that he considers the principle of disabled competitors lining up alongside those without specially developed limbs flawed.
When asked at a Times+ event whether he thought Pistorius's inclusion was political correctness gone mad or an inspiring human story, the 44 year-old said: “I think it is both. I know Oscar well, and he knows my position; my position is that because we don’t know for sure whether he gets an advantage from the prosthetics that he wears it is unfair to the able-bodied competitors.
"That is hard for a lot of people to take and to understand when you are talking about an athlete and an individual who has a disability.
"It is a great story, he is a great individual and he has been a great ambassador for athletes with a disability and for people, and how to overcome [that] and continue to strive.
"Oscar sees no limits; he has no fear when competing against able-bodied athletes. So it is hard for people to understand and to accept when you start to talk about whether or not he may have the advantage."