Judge: Pistorius Allowed to Compete Overseas
Oscar Pistorius, the Olympic “Blade Runner” who is charged with the Valentine’s Day murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will be allowed to compete overseas while out on bail, a judge ruled today.
According to the previous conditions of his $110,000 bail, which was granted on Feb. 22, Pistorius was barred from drinking alcohol or traveling abroad. He was also required to stay away from his Pretoria apartment complex, which is considered a crime scene, and to report twice weekly to a probation officer.
Today, however, Judge Bert Bam sided with Pistorius’s lawyer Barry Roux, who argued that the Paralympic star may need to compete internationally since he has no other income, reports the Associated Press.
Calling the bail conditions “unfair,” Judge Bam threw out the alcohol and probation reporting restrictions and allowed Pistorius to compete overseas as long as he gives the court a week’s notice. The court will hold his passport while he is in South Africa.
“Why would this athlete now go to a country without extradition, go and hide somewhere?,” said Roux to the judge. “[Athletics] is his only source of income. He has no desire to compete now but it will change.” Soon after the shooting Pistorius lost lucrative sponsorship deals, including big-money contracts with Nike and Oakley.
Pistorius’s agent Peet van Zyl told the AP that the famed double amputee might compete at the World Championships in Moscow this August. The event’s governing body confirmed that Pistorius would be eligible on the grounds that he’s innocent until proven guilty.
Pistorius is scheduled to return to court June 4.