• Athletics

Pistorius not in future plans for Nike

ESPN staff
February 18, 2013
Oscar Pistorius returns to court on Tuesday © PA Photos

Nike has confirmed on the eve of Oscar Pistorius' bail hearing that there are no future plans to use the Paralympic icon in advertising campaigns.

Sportswear giant Nike are major sponsors of Pistorius, who faces a charge of premeditated murder after his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was found shot dead at his home on Thursday.

Nike spokesman KeJuan Wilkins told The Associated Press that Pistorius does not feature in the company's future advertising plans, although he did not say if this was as a result of recent events. Neither did Wilkins comment on whether any advertising involving Pistorius would be pulled.

A 2007 Nike internet advertisement, which showed Pistorius sprinting on his famous carbon fibre blades while carrying the wording, "I am the bullet in the chamber", has been taken down. "Nike felt it was appropriate to take the ad down from Oscar's website recognising the sensitivities of the situation," Wilkins said.

Pistorius returns to court on Tuesday for his bail hearing, when police will oppose his right to bail. The 26-year-old has already been withdrawn from all athletic dates up until May, it was confirmed on Sunday.

Steenkamp was found shot multiple times at Pistorius' house, while reports in South Africa claim she also suffered a fractured skull. A bloodstained cricket bat was allegedly found in the house.

Pistorius' family say the alleged murder is "disputed in the strongest terms", while his father Henke says the Paralympian was acting "on instinct", mistaking Steenkamp for an intruder in the house.

Steenkamp's mother has spoken of the "beautiful person" lost to the world in the event of her daughter's death, asking for answers as to how and why the incident took place.

Mrs Steenkamp told South African newspaper The Times: "She loved like no one else could love. She had so much of herself to give and now all of it is gone. Just like that, she is gone ... In the blink of an eye and a single breath, the most beautiful person who ever lived is no longer here.

"All we have is this horrendous death to deal with ... to get to grips with. All we want are answers ... answers as to why this had to happen, why our beautiful daughter had to die like this."

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