Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius’ defense calls in U.S. forensic experts for trial

Leave a comment

Oscar Pistorius is getting help from the U.S. in preparation for his murder trial in March.

A team of American forensic investigators is working with the South African double-amputee sprinter’s defense team, according to reports.

“It’s very standard practice to work with experts during the preparation of any trial,” Pistorius spokeswoman Anneliese Burgess told the South Africa Press Association on Tuesday.

Burgess said the forensic experts arrived at the house where Pistorius was staying Monday, but she did not go into any more detail.

Pistorius, 26, shot and killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early morning hours of Valentine’s Day at his Pretoria home. He argued that he thought Steenkamp was an intruder locked in his bathroom. He was indicted on a murder charge in August, and there have been reports his lawyers were in settlement talks with the Steenkamps.

Burgess told The Associated Press that Pistorius has done little else than focus on the trial since his last court appearance Aug. 19.

“Nothing much has changed,” Burgess told the AP. “Oscar is preparing for the trial. That’s the focus and that’s the focus of everybody around him, too.”

IAAF announced candidates for World Athlete of the Year

Blake Griffin will miss Olympics, report says

Blake Griffin
Leave a comment

For the second straight Olympics, Blake Griffin will not be able to join Team USA due to injury, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Clippers power forward will be out several months due to his left quad injury, according to the newspaper.

Griffin was originally chosen for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team but withdrew due to a torn meniscus, opening a spot for Anthony Davis.

Davis is also expected to miss the Rio Games due to injury.

Other power forwards on the U.S. finalist list released in January include LaMarcus Aldridge, Kenneth Faried, Draymond Green and Kevin Love.

Rio Olympic cauldron likely to be located near Plaza Maua

Candelaria Church
Getty Images
Leave a comment

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Mayor Eduardo Paes says he wants the Olympic cauldron to burn in Rio de Janeiro’s revitalized port area.

The cauldron will be lit at Maracana Stadium during the Opening Ceremony on Aug. 5, and will spend the night there before traveling to a permanent home.

Mario Andrada, spokesman for the Rio organizing committee, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the cauldron will be placed in the port area, but not in the heart of the renovated port area known as Plaza Maua.

“It will be close to Plaza Maua, but not exactly in Plaza Maua,” Andrada said. He said it was likely to be located near the Candelaria Church, which is near the plaza.

“Don’t get me into a fight with the mayor,” Andrada added.

Paes said he hoped the new plaza would be a center for outdoor entertainment during the Games, including performance stages, musical attractions, and large-screen televisions.

“It seems that the Maracana Stadium has limitations,” Paes said, adding that moving out of the Maracana “is good because it democratizes the access to the cauldron.”

The new plaza and downtown Rio are far from the heart of the Games in suburban Barra da Tijuca. It is also an area not usually visited by tourists.

The Olympic flame arrives from Greece and Switzerland on Tuesday in the capital Brasilia, to be carried off the plane by IOC member Carlos Nuzman, the head of the Rio organizing committee.

The flame then goes to the Planalto presidential palace where it is expected to be greeted by President Dilma Rousseff.

Andrada said IOC President Thomas Bach and other top IOC officials would not be at the ceremony.

Rousseff is facing impeachment charges and could be suspended from office as early as May 11, turning over authority to Vice President Michel Temer.

Temer, himself, could also face impeachment proceedings and has a scandal-tainted career.

PHOTOS: Olympic flame visits Acropolis, 1896 Olympic Stadium