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Oscar Pistorius unlikely to compete this year

Updated: Tuesday, 21 May 2013 09:17 | Comments

Oscar Pistorius is due back in court in June and is unlikely to compete for the remainder of 2013
Oscar Pistorius is due back in court in June and is unlikely to compete for the remainder of 2013

Oscar Pistorius has turned his back on athletics for the rest of the year to focus on fighting the murder charge hanging over him.

The South African's agent Peet van Zyl told Press Association Sport the 26-year-old was not mentally ready to return to competition as he awaits trial, charged with the premeditated murder of his girlfriend.

Instead, the athlete has turned down a number of invitations to meetings.

"There was never any pressure from me or his coach (Ampie Louw) to return to competition, it's his decision and it's his decision not to compete," Van Zyl said.

The six-time Paralympic gold medallist is charged with the murder on Valentine's Day of Reeva Steenkamp.

He is next due in court on 4 June, with a trial expected to take place before the end of this year. The double amputee claims that when he fired the shots which killed the 29-year-old through the bathroom door at his home in Pretoria, he believed he was shooting at an intruder.

Pistorius' decision means he will definitely not take part in the IPC World Championships in Lyon in July or the able-bodied World Championships in Moscow the following month.

Pistorius, who competed at both the Olympics and Paralympics at London 2012, had his bail conditions relaxed in March to allow him to travel abroad for competitions.

But asked if the 400 metres specialist was mentally ready to race again, Van Zyl said: "No, of course not."

Coach Louw was quoted by Eye Witness News in South Africa as saying: "He is nowhere close to being in a position to train. He just does fitness exercises in the morning with his family."

Van Zyl revealed to Press Association Sport that meeting organisers had been in touch to invite Pistorius to their events.

He did not reveal where the invitations were from but said there had been "a good number, enough to keep him busy through the year".

Pistorius won two gold medals at London 2012 in the 400m and the 4x100m relay, but made just as many headlines for his comments about the length of rival Alan Oliveira's running blades straight after the Brazilian shocked him in the 200m, which were viewed by many as sour grapes.

He will now miss out on the year when the Paralympic movement looks to capitalise on the success of the London Games, although any appearance at the IPC World Championships would have undoubtedly overshadowed the event itself.

UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner had already ruled out inviting Pistorius to the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium at the end of July for fear of it becoming a "media circus".

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