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Oscar Pistorius' agent cancels races, says sponsors still supportive

Oscar Pistorius known as the 'Blade Runner' appeared in the Pretoria Magistrates Court for allegedly killing his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in a shooting incident.Antoine De Ras / Redux Pictures

UPDATED: 4:30 p.m. ET: The management company of “Blade Runner” Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius, who allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, has cancelled all of his future races, according to a statement released Sunday.

“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, to allow Oscar to concentrate on the upcoming legal proceedings and to help and support all those involved as they try to come to terms with this very difficult and distressing situation,” Pistorius' agent Peet Van Zyl said in a statement.

Pistorius had been contracted to compete in five races between March 9 and May 25 in Australia, Brazil, the United States and England.

Van Zyl said that all of Pistorius’ partners and sponsors were supportive and their contractual commitments remain intact, but “they are happy to let the legal process take its course before making any change in their position.”

Pistorius was charged on Friday with murdering Steenkamp at his home, although the athlete vehemently denied the accusation in a statement issued by his agent on Friday.

A reality television show featuring Steenkamp was aired in South Africa Saturday night, two days after she was killed.

A pre-recorded clip on the “Tropika Island of Treasure” show featured the law graduate talking about her "exit" from the series, which is filmed in the Caribbean.

"I think that the way you go out, not just your journey in life but the way that you go out and you make your exit is so important," she said in the clip – words which have a new meaning in light of her death, in the early hours of Thursday.

Speaking directly to the camera, she said: "I'm gonna miss you all so much. And I love you very, very much."

As Pistorius remained in a Pretoria police station awaiting his next bail hearing on Tuesday, media reports carried more lurid details about the events surrounding Steenkamp’s death.

South African newspaper The Sunday Tribune reported claims by an un-named female friend of Pistorius that he called her frantically asking for help after the shooting, while UK newspaper The People published an interview with the athlete’s friend, Justin Divaris.

Divaris told the newspaper Pistorius had also called him in a panic – even before he had called police.

The newspaper said Divaris saw a hysterical Pistorius being detained by cops at the house. “He was totally incoherent and just kept saying, ‘My baba, I’ve killed my baba. God take me away’,” he was quoted as saying.

A pastor who visited Pistorius at the police station on Sunday said he was still distraught.

"The Holy Spirit gave me an order that this is now the chance to go pray with Oscar," pastor AJ Wilson told Reuters outside the police station.

"The (police) colonel told him that I have come to pray with him. He just cried and we all cried together."

Pistorius’ uncle, Arnold, on Saturday said the Paralympian was “numb with shock, as well as grief”.

There was anger in South African at the decision by broadcaster SABC to air the reality show, Reuters reported – particularly as Steenkamp will not be buried until Tuesday.

"It was very insensitive to put it on air before she was even buried," said 30-year-old insurance consultant Montle Ndlovu, according to Reuters. "It's such a sad story. She was young and pretty and had her whole life in front of her." 

Reuters contributed to this report.


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