Paralympic athletics star Liam Malone says rule changes made by the Paralympic Committee influenced his decision to retire.
The 24-year-old told the Radio Sport Breakfast yesterday that changes to the competitive landscape, which would limit athletes from having full access to commercially available blades, was a "major shame" and played a role in his "difficult decision" to retire.
"It's basically a resetting of formula which determines how long your blades can be," Malone said.
"The Paralympic Committee set these rules because you're trying to deal with artificial body parts, technology moves so quickly and it's really hard to create an even playing field."
Malone said although the decision was based on multiple factors, the changes made him indecisive in the countdown to the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.
"When you're in a state of ambivalence that's not a good way to live for one, and then two, you really need to have some sort of calculated percentage of success when you're working towards something and I couldn't figure out what that percentage was.
"I just wasn't as obsessed with the sport as a result of that so decided to pull the pin and move on to something else."
Malone will begin a new job with Auckland company Soul Machines — a high-tech firm which is doing groundbreaking work in humanising artificial intelligence.
When you're in a state of ambivalence that's not a good way to live ... I'm disappointed, friends are disappointed, family are disappointed, but ultimately it's the right decision to make.
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Malone will join the business development team.
"Going into this job is going to be working with people who are similar to professional athletes but in a different domain of humanity, all very talented and hard-working people who will be no doubt displaying those same characteristics."
Malone said while his retirement was greeted with disappointment, it was time to set new goals.
"I'm disappointed, friends are disappointed, family are disappointed, everyone who's supported me has been disappointed but ultimately it's the right decision to make.
"I reflected on where I am in life and against different goals and where I want to go and where I want to be and running for me was always a stepping stone," the double gold medal winner said.
Malone is retiring from the sport after a stunning performance at the Paralympics in Brazil two years ago. He won gold in the T44 200m and T44 400m as well as silver in the T44 100m.
Malone had both legs amputated below the knee when he was 18 months old after being born with a fibular hemimelia, a disease where part or all of the fibula bone is missing.