Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius trial Day 2 video clips, recap; Reeva’s mother forgives

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Oscar Pistorius buried his head in his hands on the second day of his murder trial while it was detailed how bullets hit girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Three witnesses of the Valentine’s Day 2013 killing from homes near Pistorius’ Pretoria house testified Tuesday as to what they saw and heard on that night. A third Afrikaans-English interpreter was brought in, and the judge warned media for showing a photograph of one of the witnesses on live TV.

Pistorius, the first double amputee to run at the Olympics in 2012, shot and killed Steenkamp on the early morning of Valentine’s Day 2013 in his Pretoria, South Africa home.

He has said he thought Steenkamp was an intruder in his bathroom when he shot four times through the door and killed her. The prosecution asserts Pistorius shot her after a fight. Pistorius could face life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder with a minimum of 25 years.

On Tuesday, the first witness, Dr. Michelle Burger, finished answering more than three hours of questions over two days in tears inside a Pretoria courtroom.

Burger said she heard a man and woman scream amid gunshots. Pistorius, in his statement last year, made no mention of hearing Steenkamp scream.

Burger’s husband also testified Tuesday to hearing a man and woman scream. Another witness who lived in the same community as Pistorius said she heard arguing that lasted about an hour.

The trial is scheduled to resume Wednesday at 2:30 a.m. ET.

Also Tuesday, “TODAY” aired an interview with Steenkamp’s mother, June, who did not attend court on the second day of the trial.

June Steenkamp was there Monday, and she explained why.

“I wanted to see Oscar face to face, and that he would know that I was there,” June Steenkamp said. “It doesn’t matter to me what happens to Oscar because my daughter is never coming back.”

Can she forgive Pistorius?

“It’s actually important to forgive him, for me, because I don’t want to live with bitterness in my life,” she said. “One has to forgive, even though if he made a mistake. It’s an enormous mistake.”

Here’s NBC News’ full recap from Tuesday’s proceedings.

Here’s video of Pistorius putting his head in his hands as details are explained of how the bullets from his gun struck Steenkamp (click the lower left play button, pause a few seconds, and click it again to start from the beginning):

Here’s video of the first witness, Burger, crying on the stand (click the lower left play button, pause a few seconds, and click it again to start from the beginning):

Here’s some atmosphere from Pretoria via Twitter:

Here are photos from Pretoria via The Associated Press:

source: AP
Journalists swamp Pistorius, as escorted out by his private security and police officers.
source: AP
Oscar Pistorius talks with brother Carl.
source: AP
Pistorius writes on a document in the dock.

Here are South African Monday PM newspaper front pages:



Yuna Kim happy that ‘absurd’ situation is finished

IAAF clears Paula Radcliffe, defends its blood testing program

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(AP) — The IAAF cleared marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe of doping allegations on Friday and rejected claims that it failed to act on hundreds of suspicious blood tests, saying the accusations lacked “any scientific or legal basis.”

Track and field’s governing body issued a 38-page response to allegations by British and German media outlets that it had ignored and tolerated rampant blood doping in the sport.

“The IAAF is not complacent about doping in its sport,” the federation said. “It will continue to use every tool at its disposal to fight doping and protect clean athletes.”

The statement was released a few days before IAAF President Sebastian Coe faces a British parliamentary hearing into the doping allegations made by The Sunday Times newspaper and German broadcaster ARD.

Already reeling from revelations of government-backed doping in Russia and criminal corruption charges against former president Lamine Diack, the International Association of Athletics Federations said it had a duty to set the record straight on the blood doping issue.

“The IAAF cannot sit idly by while public confidence in its willingness to protect the integrity of its sport is undermined by allegations of inaction/incompetence that are based on bad scientific and legal argument,” it said.

The IAAF singled out the case of Radcliffe, saying the three-time London Marathon winner was publicly accused of doping “based on the gross misinterpretation of raw and incomplete data.”

Elevated blood value readings in some of Radcliffe’s tests had “clearly plausible” explanations that were “entirely innocent,” the IAAF said.

“Any competent scientist would immediately conclude that they should be disregarded,” the statement added.

The IAAF said it followed up by testing Radcliffe’s urine and blood samples for EPO and blood transfusions, and all the results came back negative.

“Obviously there’s been damage done to my reputation, and to the reputation of the sport, and that’s why I took the stand I did against this,” Radcliffe said Friday after the release of the IAAF statement. “Yes, it was only me being singled out but there are a lot of other innocent, clean athletes who have or may produce an atypical value at some point.

“That’s precisely why it has to be kept so confidential until an expert that’s properly qualified looks at it and assesses it.”

Britain’s national anti-doping agency said it also reviewed Radcliffe’s test results and agreed there was no case against her.

“The data does not provide any evidence that any anti-doping rule violation proceedings should be brought,” the UK Anti-Doping Agency said.

Radcliffe, who retired from competition this year, was publicly implicated during a British Parliamentary hearing in August into the doping allegations leveled by the British and German media.

She acknowledged that her blood-testing data may have shown “fluctuations” but insisted there were no “abnormalities” and experts had concluded she had done nothing wrong.

Radcliffe set the world record when she ran 2 hours, 15 minutes, 25 seconds in winning the 2003 London Marathon. She also won the New York Marathon three times (2004, `07 and `08) and the Chicago Marathon in 2002. Radcliffe competed in four Olympics but never won a medal.

The Sunday Times and ARD examined the results of 12,000 blood tests involving 5,000 athletes from a leaked IAAF database covering 2001 to 2012 and concluded there was evidence of widespread cheating.

The reports said that 146 medals — including 55 golds — in disciplines ranging from the 800 meters to the marathon at the Olympics and world championships were won by athletes who have recorded suspicious tests. The Sunday Times also claimed the London Marathon was won seven times over a 12-year period by athletes who recorded suspicious tests.

The IAAF said Friday that its biological passport program — which monitors athletes’ blood profiles over time for evidence of doping — began in 2009 and that all screenings done before then could not be used as proof of doping.

“No charge could ever be brought based on the pre-2009 tests,” the statement said.

The IAAF said it would respond separately to allegations made in a report by a World Anti-Doping Agency commission this month that IAAF officials swept aside up to eight blood doping cases in 2012, allowing athletes to compete at the London Olympics when they should have been suspended.

MORE: Russia vows to follow all WADA recommendations on doping

Crashes for Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn in Aspen grand slalom

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The American women finished off the podium in today’s grand slalom race in Aspen, Colorado after both Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin suffered crashes.

20-year-old Shiffrin was leading after the first run by 0.11 seconds. If she’d maintained her lead through the second run, she would have become the first American woman since Tamara McKinney in 1981 to win the World Cup race in Aspen.

Shiffrin was also hoping she’d win her first World Cup race on American soil today; all 15 of her World Cup victories have been in Europe.

She was optimistic heading into the second run, telling the Denver Post, “I felt really solid. I was attacking, I was really attacking like crazy. That was a really good thing for me to do in a GS course.”

Unfortunately Shiffrin was in sight of the finish line with just two gates to go when she lost an edge and crashed.

The winner was Lara Gut of Switzerland, followed by Eva-Maria Brem of Austria and Federica Brignone of Italy.

Vonn took herself out of podium contention in the first run when she lost her left ski while making a hard right turn. Vonn, who broke her ankle in training three months ago, was not hurt and called the error “super annoying,” the AP reported. “It’s never happened to me in a race before. To have it happen in Aspen is definitely disappointing.”

Vonn will next race two downhills and a super-G in Lake Louise, where she’s claimed fifteen career victories. Shiffrin will race two slalom races in Aspen on Saturday and Sunday.

Watch Vonn’s first run here:

MORE: Lindsey Vonn, Mikaela Shiffrin meet to discuss rivalry