UK & World News
Oscar Pistorius Cancels All Future Races
Double amputee athlete Oscar Pistorius has been forced to cancel all future races and says his "key focus" is now defending himself against the charge he murdered his girlfriend, his agent says.
Peet Van Zyl said he had "no option" but to cancel Pistorius' track dates for the foreseeable future "to allow Oscar to concentrate on the upcoming legal proceedings".
Pistorius was arrested and charged on Valentine's Day with the premeditated murder of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in Pretoria, South Africa.
Police allege that he shot 29-year-old Miss Steenkamp four times.
His family has issued a statement saying he denies the charges against him in the "strongest possible terms".
Pistorius, nicknamed the Blade Runner, is due to appear in court on Tuesday to face a bail hearing at which he will be told if he has to stay in jail.
Meanwhile, the athlete is being held at a police station in Pretoria, where his agent Mr Van Zyl and members of his family visited him on Sunday night.
The agent spoke to reporters after leaving the police station and revealed the double-amputee Olympian's track career was now on hold.
One of the race meets he has been pulled from is the Manchester City Games on May 25.
However, Mr Van Zyl said Pistorius' sponsorship deals, including those with big-name brands Nike and Oakley, were safe for now.
"I can confirm that at this point in time all parties are supportive and their contractual commitments are maintained," he said.
"They have said they are happy to let the legal process take its course before making any change in their position."
It has been reported that Pistorius has contracts and deals worth £1.3m with Nike, as well as others with BT and Thierry Mugler.
Last week, BT and Nike signalled their intention to wait for further developments before making a decision on their relationship with him.
BT said in a statement: "Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragedy. Given the ongoing legal proceedings, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further."
Nike said: "We're not making any comment at this stage other than to say that the incident is a police matter and we will continue to monitor the situation closely."
Despite its decision to stand by him for now, Nike last week pulled an advert featuring Pistorius with the strapline: "I am the bullet in the chamber."
On the track, Pistorius had agreed to take part in five races in the first half of 2013: two in Australia, two exhibition runs against fellow Paralympians Alan Oliveira, from Brazil, and Briton Jonnie Peacock, and an appearance in the US.
Prosecutors have said they will pursue a more serious charge of premeditated murder, but his lawyers are expected to argue the charge should be reduced to murder without premeditation. This would mean he could be allowed free on bail.