Paralympics

AP

Oscar Pistorius faces appeal from prosecutors eyeing more jail time

Leave a comment

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Oscar Pistorius faces another legal challenge when South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal convenes Nov. 3 to hear arguments by state prosecutors that the former track star and convicted murderer should get more jail time.

The National Prosecuting Authority said Tuesday that the Supreme Court of Appeal will hear its case for overturning Pistorius’ six-year prison sentence for murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on the basis that it is too lenient.

Prosecutors want the sentence of the double-amputee Olympic runner to be increased to 15 years.

Pistorius was convicted of murder after a successful 2015 appeal by prosecutors against an initial manslaughter verdict.

He shot Steenkamp multiple times through a toilet cubicle door at his Pretoria home early on Valentine’s Day 2013. Pistorius claimed he mistook his girlfriend for an intruder.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Pistorius timeline since London Olympics

Russia athletes can qualify for PyeongChang Paralympics as neutrals

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Russia’s ban from Paralympic competition was extended until November, putting the nation at further risk of being excluded from the PyeongChang Winter Games in March, but there are reasons for optimism.

The International Paralympic Committee is “impressed and encouraged” at significant progress made by Russia to meet anti-doping criteria for reinstatement, president Philip Craven said in a press release Wednesday.

The IPC is confident enough that it is allowing Russian athletes to attempt to qualify for the Winter Games. Athletes can apply to be cleared as neutral athletes apart from the Russian flag and federations, similar to the current setup for Olympic track and field athletes.

“This limited interim measure is intended to preserve the ability of the RPC [Russia Paralympic Committee] to enter its qualified athletes into the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games should it have its suspension lifted in time,” the IPC said. “The IPC also hopes this decision will further encourage the RPC and importantly the Russian authorities to meet the remaining reinstatement criteria as soon as possible.”

Russia has been banned from IPC-sanctioned competition since August 2016 due to its poor anti-doping record. That included a suspension from the Rio Games last September.

Russia topped the Winter Paralympic medal standings in 2006, 2010 and 2014. It won a record 80 medals and 30 golds in Sochi, more than three times as many as the second-place nations.

Craven is confident that Russia can meet five of seven remaining reinstatement conditions “in the near future.” The other two — the reinstatement of Russia’s anti-doping agency (RUSADA) and the acknowledgment and acceptance of the McLaren Report into Russian doping — have to wait until a World Anti-Doping Agency meeting in November.

Russians will be able to compete as neutrals in four of the six Winter Paralympic sports this fall — Alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing and snowboarding.

Russia already missed the chance to qualify for PyeongChang in hockey. That’s key, as Russia took silver behind the U.S. men at the Sochi Paralympics and bronze at the 2013 and 2015 Worlds before its suspension.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Five Paralympic storylines ahead of PyeongChang

Oscar Pistorius taken to hospital with chest pains

Oscar Pistorius
Getty Images
Leave a comment

SOMERSET WEST, South Africa (AP) — Oscar Pistorius was taken from prison to a public hospital on Thursday with chest pains and will stay overnight for observation.

“He’s fine now,” Pistorius spokesman Johan van Wyk told The Associated Press. Van Wyk said South African media reports that the former track star and convicted murderer had a suspected heart attack in jail were untrue.

Pistorius, the double-amputee Olympic runner who is serving a six-year prison term for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend, was taken to the hospital Thursday morning and had been expected to return to the prison later the same day, Department of Corrections spokesman Logan Maistry told the AP. However, Pistorius will now stay overnight in the hospital “for observation,” Maistry said.

Maistry declined to give details of Pistorius’ medical complaint, citing department rules preventing the divulging of information about offenders. He said only that Pistorius was having “medical examinations.”

But van Wyk confirmed that Pistorius had complained of chest pains and was taken to Kalafong Hospital in the South African capital, Pretoria.

Reports said he was rushed from Atteridgeville Prison to the hospital’s emergency department, escorted by armed guards. Maistry declined to comment on those reports.

This is the second time Pistorius has left jail for a hospital visit. Last year he was taken to the hospital for treatment to cuts on his wrists, which prison authorities said he sustained after falling in his cell.

The 30-year-old Pistorius was first imprisoned at the Kgosi Mampuru II Prison in central Pretoria but was moved to Atteridgeville because it was better suited to handle disabled inmates.

Pistorius, the multiple Paralympic champion, has served a year of his sentence for the fatal shooting of girlfriend Reeva Steekamp.

Pistorius was convicted of murder in 2015 after an appeal by prosecutors against an initial manslaughter verdict. He killed Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2013 by shooting her multiple times through a toilet cubicle door at his Pretoria home. Pistorius claimed he mistook his girlfriend for a nighttime intruder.

Prosecutors have announced their intention to appeal again, this time against Pistorius’ six-year sentence, which they say is too lenient. The National Prosecuting Authority said it will appeal to South Africa’s Supreme Court, and the appeal could be heard this year, opening another chapter in a case that has lasted nearly five years.

Pistorius faces having his sentence increased to 15 years if prosecutors are successful. There is no death penalty in South Africa.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: American breaks Pistorius’ world record