• Athletics

Pistorius cancels all future races

ESPN staff
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Oscar Pistorius' management company have withdrawn the Paralympian from all engagements up until May as he faces a charge of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The 26-year-old was contracted to race in Australia, Brazil, United States and the Manchester City Games in May.

Last week, Pistorius was charged with the premeditated murder of Steenkamp and he will return to court on Tuesday for a bail hearing.

Pistorius intends to dispute the charge of murder "in the strongest terms" and his family and management company say he now has only one focus.

"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," Pistorius's manager Peet van Zyl said on Sunday.

Meanwhile, a friend of Pistorius told Beeld newspaper that the athlete nearly shot him in the foot at a Johannesburg restaurant.

Kevin Lerena, a mutual friend of Pistorius and Steenkamp, said he had been dining with the couple and other friends when the gun went off by mistake.

"I must emphasise that the gun belonged to one of Pistorius' friends. Oscar just wanted to look at the gun, and it sort of snagged on his pants, releasing the safety catch," Lerena told Beeld. "A shot went off. I wouldn't call him negligent, it was just an accident.

"He apologised to me for days afterwards. I got a huge fright, because the bullet hit the ground just centimetres from my foot ... but it really was just a freak accident."

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