Oscar Pistorius cancels race appearances after murder charge

Oscar Pistorius

The South African athlete is being charged for murder of his girlfriend.

Paralympic star, Oscar Pistorius, has cancelled all his scheduled track appearances in the next few months, to allow him to concentrate on defending himself against a murder charge.

Pistorius is charged with the murder of his girl friend in his native South Africa, his agent said.

The athlete, known worldwide as the “Blade Runner’’ for his prosthetic legs, was formally accused last week of the premeditated shooting of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The charge could put him behind bars for life if convicted.

“I have decided that following these tragic events that we have no option but to cancel all future races that Oscar Pistorius had been contracted to compete in,’’ his agent, Peet van Zyl, said in a statement released late on Sunday.

The cancelled races include two appearances in Australia and one in Brazil in March, one in the U.S. in April and one in Britain in May.

Van Zyl, who visited Pistorius on Sunday at the Pretoria police station where he is being held, said the athlete’s sponsors were sticking with him, pending the outcome of his trial.

“Regarding sponsors and partners, I can confirm that at this point in time, all parties are supportive and their contractual commitments are maintained,’’ van Zyl said.

“They have said they are happy to let the legal process take its course, before making any change in their position.’’

Pistorius, a double amputee, became one of the most recognised figures in world athletics last year when reached the semi-finals of the men’s 400-metres at the London 2012 Olympics.

He was born without a fibula in either lower leg, and underwent a double amputation as an 11-month-old baby.

Running on a pair of high-technology carbon fibre prosthetic “blades,’’ he smashed Paralympic World Records and went on to compete against able-bodied athletes at the highest levels.

(Reuters/NAN)


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