South African Olympic body: Oscar Pistorius still free to compete after conviction
- Mirror 15th Sep 2014 19:16:00 GMT +0300
Oscar Pistorius is free to compete for South Africa again as long as his running does not go against the ruling of a judge.
The Bladrunner athlete,due to be sentenced next month after being found guilty of culpable homicide over the fatal shooting of his girlfriend, could compete at any time because the South African Olympic committee has no regulations preventing someone with a criminal record from representing the country.
South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee chief executive Tubby Reddy said."As he stands right now, he's free to compete."
Double-amputee Pistorius, who competes on carbon fibre prosthetic legs, faces years in jail after being convicted of killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
However, there is no minimum sentence for a culpable homicide conviction in South African law and the Olympian could receive a suspended sentence and no jail time and only ordered to pay a fine.
As long as competing does not counter the ruling of Judge Thokozile Masipa when she decides Pistorius' fate next month, he can run for South Africa, Mr Reddy said.
Pistorius would only have to meet normal sports qualifying criteria.
Mr Reddy dismissed reports of a meeting among officials this week to decide Pistorius' eligibility, saying there was "nothing to decide".
Last year, Pistorius was cleared to run overseas after appealing his bail terms, but chose not to while he concentrated on his murder trial.
Pistorius was cleared of murder last week in Pretoria, but was convicted on a charge of culpable homicide.
Pistorius claimed he had accidentally shot Ms Steenkamp through a toilet door at their home on February 14 last year, having mistakenly believed his home had been invaded, but the judge said his conduct had been negligent.
Pistorius' agent, Peet van Zyl, said competing now was not an option, but they would "sit down and take stock" after his sentencing hearing, which starts October 13.
"It's all up to Oscar. He must decide what he wants to do," Mr Van Zyl said, adding he would only talk with Pistorius about running again after sentencing.
"I don't know what his mindset is now. I will sit down with him. Is he keen or is he not keen?"
Pistorius would not be allowed to run while serving a prison or house-arrest sentence, but a fine and a suspended prison term is also an option for the judge.
Pistorius and his longtime coach, Ampie Louw, said before Ms Steenkamp's killing that they wanted to retire together at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Pistorius was the first amputee to compete on the track at the Olympics when he ran in the 400 metres and 4x400 relay at the London Games in 2012.
Mr Van Zyl told reporters on Monday that Pistorius had not done any running on the track "for ages" but was working out in a gym.
Pistorius' last competitive race was the 400-metre final at the London Paralympics two years ago, when he retained his title.
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Oscar Pistorius South Africa judge