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Oscar Pistorius’ lawyers appeal bail conditions

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Oscar Pistorius’s lawyers filed an appeal Friday against the bail restrictions imposed on the Blade Runner after he was charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, last month.

“The conditions appealed against are unwarranted and not substantiated by the facts,” read the appeal, which was released to the Associated Press by the Olympian’s family via email Monday.

The current restrictions handed down by the South African Magistrate require that Pistorius relinquish his passports and firearms, stay away from his home and neighbors, refrain from using drugs and alcohol, and restrict him from leaving Pretoria without official permission.

Pistorius shot Steenkamp three times on Valentines Day morning through his bathroom after he claims he heard a noise that he thought was an intruder in his house. Only after he had fired did he considered it might have been Steenkamp. He saw he had shot her, called paramedics, and carried her downstairs to wait for help to arrive. She died in his arms. He bawled in court as his statement was read last month.

The appeal argues that there is “no basis in fact or in law” for the terms, and that evidence at last month’s hearing proved that Pistorius is not a flight risk and should be allowed to leave the country so long as he has official permission from the court. It also suggests that the sprinter should be allowed to consume alcohol, and that he should be able to return to his home once officers complete their investigation.

“He’s not under house arrest, but his movements need to be known to us so that we don’t pitch there and he’s not there,” said chief deputy commissioner James Smalberger. “We agree on free time normally during the course of the day, and in the evening we expect him to be home.”

Pistorius has been staying with his uncle Andrew, where officials will visit him four times a month until the trial beings in Pretoria on June 4.

U.S. sprinters past, present trade relay barbs

Justin Gatlin
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The only loss for the Americans at the Penn Relays came in the men’s 4x100m, as the U.S. team bobbled its victory away on a bad baton handoff between Tyson Gay and Isiah Young for the final leg, which led to a disqualification.

Mike Rodgers and Justin Gatlin gave the Americans an early lead in the race, and things were moving along well during Gay’s third leg. But the muffed handoff for the final leg cost the Americans. Both the winning Jamaican squad and the second American team surpassed them.

Young finished third, but the team was disqualified because the handoff occurred outside the pass zone. The second U.S. team of Sean McLean, Wallace Spearman, Calesio Newman and Remontay McLain finished in 39.02.

The mistake led to some inflammatory comments from U.S. great Leroy Burrell about continued problems with handoffs by U.S. relay teams.

“Well, I think we’ve got to put our team together a little earlier, possibly,” Burrell said in a television interview. “I think, we’ve had the same coaches working with these guys for many years, and we’ve had failure after failure. So it’s possible that, you know, it might be time for a bit of a regime change with the leadership.

“I think the athletes have to be the catalysts that make that happen. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to get the stick around. I saw thousands of relay teams yesterday — maybe not thousands, but hundreds of relay teams get it around. But the professionals can’t. That’s just not good for our sport.”

Rodgers didn’t take kindly to those remarks.

“People keep pointing their fingers and downing us, but nobody has ever tried to come out there and help us,” he said. “Nobody from the past. Not Carl [Lewis] or Leroy. They haven’t been out there. I can’t really respect their opinions because they’re supposed to be leaders in our sport and in the USA, and they’re not coming out there to drop some knowledge on us, so I don’t care what they have to say.”

Lewis criticized U.S. relays in March.

Gatlin was equally critical of Burrell.

“I’m tired of people who have been part of Team USA take shots at Team USA,” Gatlin said. “To put us in the same boat as high schoolers is insulting.”

Bob Costas’ report 100 days out from Rio (video)

Bob Costas
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Bob Costas reported from Rio de Janeiro for NBC News on Wednesday, 100 days out from the Opening Ceremony.

In the clip below, Michael PhelpsSimone Biles and even Brazil soccer legend Pelé comment on preparing for the first Games in South America.

Costas finished the clip with a stand-up from Copacabana Beach, where beach volleyball will take place in August.

VIDEO: Bob Costas picks biggest storyline of Rio Olympics