Representatives for Olympic “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius, who is out on bail while awaiting trial for the alleged murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, say he will not compete this year after all.
As we previously reported, a judge had relaxed travel restrictions on the South African track star so that he might earn income by competing overseas. Pistorius’s sponsors, including Nike and Oakley, publicly dropped him after the Valentine’s Day shooting, which his lawyers contend was an accident.
His agent Peet van Zyl had said in March that Pistorius, 26, was considering competing this August in the world track championships in Moscow, and organizers had even confirmed his eligibility. But now, two months later, when asked by the Telegraph if the Paralympic runner was mentally ready to compete, van Zyl responded, “No, of course not.”
His coach, Ampie Louw, told a local news station, “He is nowhere close to being in a position to train,” reports the London paper. “He just does fitness exercises in the morning with his family,” Louw added.
There had been concerns that the presence of Pistorius, whose alleged crime shocked the world only months after he’d risen to worldwide fame for his crossover success in the able-bodied Olympics, would create a media circus wherever he might compete. Pistorius had been denied invitation to July’s London Anniversary Games for that reason, said UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner to the BBC.
Still, van Zyl told the news outlet that invitations were streaming in. “[There] were a good number, enough to keep him busy through the year,” said van Zyl.
Pistorius is scheduled to appear in court on June 4.