Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius trial starts Monday; key information

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Oscar Pistorius will go on trial beginning Monday, charged with murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on the early morning of Valentine’s Day 2013.

Pistorius, the first double amputee to run at the Summer Olympics when he competed in London, said he unknowingly shot and killed Steenkamp, who was with Pistorius at his Pretoria, South Africa, home that overnight.

Pistorius shot four times through a bathroom door, hitting Steenkamp three times with bullets from his licensed 9mm Parabellum pistol. His defense was that he thought the person in the bathroom was an intruder and that Steenkamp was in bed.

When and where is the trial?

The trial begins at 3 a.m. ET on Monday at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria with the full trial period set for March 3-20, though it won’t necessarily end March 20. The schedule (subject to change by the judge) calls for court proceedings to run from 3-4:15 a.m., 4:30-6 a.m. and 7-9 a.m. ET.

As many as 107 witnesses could be called based on this indictment from August.

How can I follow the trial?

South African media outlets were granted permission Tuesday to broadcast live video of parts of the trial, not including Pistorius’ potential testimony. The broadcasts also can be made available to international stations, according to The Associated Press.

A live audio feed will be allowed for the whole of the trial. Links to live audio were made available at Pistorius’ court appearances last year. (Update: South African media outlet Eyewitness News has an audio live stream link here)

Here’s a Twitter list of accounts related to the trial.

What are the potential outcomes?

Pistorius, 27, was indicted on a charge of premeditated murder in August. If convicted of premeditated murder, he faces a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years in prison. There is no death penalty in South Africa.

If not premeditated murder, he could be convicted of lesser charges such as culpable homicide (negligent killing) with shorter prison sentences.

A judge will determine Pistorius’ guilt or innocence. There is no trial by jury in South Africa.

Here’s NBC News’ full coverage of the Pistorius trial.

IOC expects decisions on Russian doping cases next month

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Investigators at the International Olympic Committee expect to have “a number” of doping cases involving Russians at the Sochi Olympics resolved by the end of November, but they have no plans to dictate the eligibility of these athletes for next year’s Winter Games in PyeongChang.

The leader of an IOC delegation in charge of reviewing 28 cases involving athletes at Sochi wrote to the head of the IOC Athletes Commission this week to update the timeline of cases stemming from a report detailing a Russian doping scheme at the 2014 Olympics and beforehand.

Denis Oswald said that of the cases his committee is reviewing, priority has been given to those involving athletes looking to compete in PyeongChang. Top priority goes to six cross-country skiers whose provisional suspensions expire Oct. 31.

Oswald also said his committee would rule on these athletes’ results for Sochi, but will not determine their eligibility for PyeongChang, instead handing over evidence to their respective sports federations to decide.

The IOC also appointed a task force to look at the Russian doping scandal as a whole, the results of which could have wider repercussions on the country’s eligibility at next year’s Olympics.

In a separate letter sent to worldwide sports leaders, IOC President Thomas Bach said only that the Schmid Commission is continuing its evaluation and that “I hope that the IOC Executive Board will still be able to take a decision this year because none of us want this serious issue to overshadow” the upcoming Olympics.

The updates come amid a growing chorus of calls for a timely decision and for Russia’s ouster from PyeongChang.

The IOC commissions are operating off information from the McLaren Report, the first part of which was released in July 2016.

In explaining the timeline, Oswald wrote that because the Russian scheme involved exchanging dirty urine samples with clean ones, it took time to adopt methods to verify that samples had been tampered with — in part by finding evidence of scratch marks on collection bottles that had been opened and re-sealed.

“The task has not been easy in both establishing a methodology in an area in which there are no established protocols,” he wrote, “and then moving through the necessary scientific analysis of each individual sample in a way which would withstand legal challenge.”

MORE: USOC boss calls for immediate action on Russian doping

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Two-time Olympian becomes first woman to lead U.S. national swim team

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Two-time Olympian Lindsay Mintenko has been picked to lead the U.S. national swimming team. She is the first woman to hold the title.

USA Swimming made the announcement Wednesday.

Mintenko replaces Frank Busch, who retired Oct. 1 as managing director. She has been a member of the national team staff since 2006.

During her swimming career, Mintenko won gold medals as a U.S. team captain at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics 800m freestyle relay and added a silver in 2004 on the 400m freestyle relay.

USA Swimming also announced an organizational restructuring that will place all technical divisions, including the national team, under the oversight of chief operating officer Mike Unger.

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