Speaking before bail was granted, Pistorius’ coach Ampie Louw said the athlete could be back in training as early as next week
After an intense four-day hearing, Paralympic and Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been granted bail ahead of his trial for the alleged murder of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp.
Magistrate Desmond Nair said that the prosecution had not proved that Pistorius, who faces a murder charge for shooting Steenkamp dead on February 14, was a ‘flight risk’ or that he had a violent character.
The athlete has denied the murder, claiming that he shot his girlfriend through a bathroom door thinking she was an intruder.
As well as having to deposit 1 million rand (around £74,000), the bail conditions also state that the athlete must hand over his passport, avoid his home in Pretoria and surrender his firearms.
He is also not allowed to drink alcohol, must not communicate with witnesses and must report to a police station every Monday and Friday. Pistorius is next due in court on June 4.
Earlier today, the athlete’s coach, Ampie Louw, was quoted by reporters present at court as saying: “He’s heartbroken – he’s heartbroken… He’s just a boy”, adding that if the athlete were to get bail, he could start training again next week, and that it might allow him to “get his mind, sort of, clear.” He added: “The sooner he can start with a bit of work, the better.”
The 26-year-old, who is known as the “Blade Runner” because he races wearing carbon fibre prosthetic blades, made history at London 2012 when he became the first double amputee to run in both the Olympics and Paralympics.
The London 2012 Olympic 400m semi-finalist also won gold in the T44 400m at the Paralympics, setting a Paralympic record in the process.
Journalists in court today reported how they heard that Pistorius and his coach of nine years made a pact to retire on the same day. “He’s not stupid. He was at the pinnacle of his career. This was going to be his year,” Rohit Kachroo, Africa Correspondent for ITV News, tweeted the coach as saying.
Earlier this week, Louw said in a statement: “I pray that we can all, in time, come through this challenging situation following the accident and I am looking forward to the day I can get my boy back on the track.”
As well as being accused of the murder of his girlfriend, there have also been allegations of an illegal substance being found at the athlete’s home where Steenkamp was shot dead.
On Wednesday AW reported how Pistorius’ defence claimed the ‘testosterone’ found was actually a legal herbal remedy used by athletes, said to be testo compositum coenzyme, and not a banned substance.
Yesterday Inside the Games claimed that the substance found could be a sexual performance enhancer, with testo-composutim co-enzyme said to be more commonly known as testis compositum, which is “marketed to help men with sexual problems”.
If the substance comes back from testing and is found to be an illegal performance enhancer Pistorius could be removed of the medals he won at London 2012.