Pistorious cleared for competition
Published on October 15, 2014
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has announced that Oscar Pistorious, the double-amputee athlete from South Africa known as the ‘blade runner’, will be permitted to participate in the 2016 games if he has served his forthcoming sentence.
“Providing he serves his sentence, he will be free to compete in IPC competitions going forward”, says Craig Spence, IPC Director of Media and Communications.
Pistorious was found guilty of culpable homicide on September 12, 2014, for killing his girlfriend, South African model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp.
Culpable homicide is defined by South African law as “the unlawful negligent killing of a human being”, essentially the equivalent of manslaughter in South Africa. This is a lesser offence than premeditated murder, which he was initially accused of, and considered an alternative verdict.
South Africa’s first black female judge, Thokolize Masipa , stated, “The conduct of the accused is inconsistent with someone who had just committed murder.” Judge Masipa has granted Pistorious a bail extension and adjourned the trial until October 13 for sentencing. He could face a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.
In addition to the IPC’s announcement, the South African Olympic Committee has said he is free to race for his country if he chooses to do so. Pete van Zyl, Pistorious’s agent, told the media: “It’s all up to Oscar. He must decide what he wants to do. I don’t know what his mindset is now. I will sit down with him. Is he keen or is he not keen?”
Pistorious came to be known as the ‘blade runner’ for using prosthetic limbs in competition. As an athlete, he won six gold medals at three Paralympic Games, and made history at the 2012 Olympic Games in London becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete in the Olympics.
So far, there have been no comments from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) or the South African Paralympic Committee.