Oscar Pistorius in shock, says uncle

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Oscar Pistorius’s uncle Arnold said Wednesday in a TV interview that the famous South African sprinter was in shock in a Pretoria jail, and only started eating on Tuesday – nearly a week after shooting his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

“He only started to eat last night,” Arnold told eNews Channel Africa. “Carl and Aimee [Pistorius’s siblings] tell me they sit with him and he spends a lot of time reading, especially reading the Bible, as his mother taught him.”

Pistorius has been jailed since he was arrested last Thursday after police were called to his home in Pretoria, South Africa by neighbors who allegedly heard shouting and gunshots. The sprinter admits to shooting Steenkamp, but says he believed his girlfriend was an intruder when he shot her three times through his bathroom door last week.

“I fail to understand how I could be charged with murder as I had no intention to kill my girlfriend,” Pistorius wrote in a statement that was read for him in court while he sobbed.

Pistorius’s bail application is being challenged in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court, but Arnold says the family believes Oscar is innocent of the crime and they stand by him.

“The truth will prevail,” uncle Arnold added. “The world will see a different Oscar; nobody can be the same ever again if such a tragedy comes over your life, but he will bounce back and be greater than ever.”

WADA investigates report that 10,000 Chinese athletes doped

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BERLIN (AP) — The World Anti-Doping Agency is looking into allegations made by a German broadcaster that Chinese athletes benefited from systematic doping in the 1980s and 90s.

“The allegations were brought forward by former Chinese physician, Xue Yinxian, who is said to have looked after several national teams in China during the decades in question,” WADA said Monday.

Xue, who recently arrived in Germany and is seeking political asylum with her son, told broadcaster ARD that more than 10,000 athletes were affected, some as young as 11, and that anyone who was against doping was considered “a danger to the country. And anyone who endangered the country is now in prison.”

The 79-year-old Xue said she lost her job with the national gymnastics team after refusing to treat an athlete with doping substances before the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

She said she had not felt safe in her home city of Beijing since 2012, when she first made her allegations of doping. She first started working with China’s national teams in the 1970s.

“In the 1980s and ’90s, Chinese athletes on the national teams made extensive use of doping substances,” she told ARD. “Medals were showered in doping. Gold, silver and bronze. All international medals should be withdrawn.”

WADA said it will examine “whether such a system may have prevailed beyond these decades.”

The first step, WADA said, was for its “independent intelligence and investigations team to initiate an investigative process in order to collect and analyze available information in coordination with external partners.”

Xue, who continued to work at lower levels after being dismissed from the national team in 1988, said she was only approached afterward when athletes developed problems because of the substances they were given.

“One trainer came to me and said, ‘Doctor Xue, the boys’ breasts keep getting bigger,’” Xue said. “These boys were about 13 to 14 years old.”

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PyeongChang Olympic organizers downplay North Korea concern

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ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece (AP) — PyeongChang Olympic organizers played down concern over ongoing tensions with North Korea and also say work has been completed on all venues for the Winter Games.

Lee Hee-beom, president of the PyeongChang organizing committee, said the International Olympic Committee has made it very clear that the Feb. 9-25 Winter Games will go ahead as scheduled.

Speaking at the birthplace of the ancient Olympics shortly after the last rehearsal for Tuesday’s official flame-lighting ceremony, Lee said “there is no Plan B.”

Lee said South Korean officials are working closely with all relevant parties to ensure the Winter Games are safe and secure.

He said his main concern for the Olympics is the weather.

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