Oscar Pistorius

Report: Pistorius lawyers trying to negotiate settlement with Steenkamps

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Representatives of Oscar Pistorius‘ and Reeva Steenkamp‘s families have been in discussions, possibly to reach an out-of-court settlement of a potential civil suit to compensate Steenkamp’s parents after her death.

Prosecutors indicted Pistorius on a premeditated murder charge Monday. The criminal trial is scheduled to begin March 3.

A criminal trial conviction could also make him liable to a substantial civil suit by Steenkamp’s family, according to The Associated Press

A lawyer for the Steenkamp family said Monday that “the two sides are talking,” according to the AP, but declined further comment.

Pistorius’ lawyers are “desperately trying to negotiate an out-of-court settlement,” according to The Times of South Africa. Pistorius shot and killed Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day but said he thought she was an intruder locked in a bathroom in his Pretoria home.

It has been widely reported Steenkamp used to financially assist her parents. The lawyers for the Steenkamps said the discussions between the camps are “intense.” Pistorius lawyer confirmed the discussions to the newspaper.

Pistorius’s lawyers want to settle the lawsuit before the outcome of the criminal trial, in an attempt to reduce a possible payout.

Pistorius became the first double-leg amputee to compete in the Olympics when he ran the 400 meters and the 4×400 relay at the London Games last year.

Pistorius comment to BBC: ‘Not well’

U.S. sprinters past, present trade relay barbs

Justin Gatlin
Getty Images
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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.”

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

Bob Costas
NBC News
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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