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Oscar Pistorius Dropped By Nike

7:37 AM, Feb 21, 2013   |    comments
South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius appears on February 19, 2013 at the Magistrate Court in Pretoria (STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) -- Nike announced Thursday it is dropping Oscar Pistorius, the Olympic and Paralympic sprinter charged with premeditated murder.

"Nike has suspended its contract with Oscar Pistorius. We believe Oscar Pistorius should be afforded due process and we will continue to monitor the situation closely," the company said in a statement.

Pistorius, 26, is waiting to hear whether he will be granted bail in the third day of a hearing in Pretoria, South Africa. He says he shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp accidentally, believing she was an intruder in his house.

The company announced earlier this week that it had no plans to use him in future ad campaigns. A Nike ad featuring Pistorius that said, "I am the bullet in the chamber," was pulled from his personal web site on Feb. 14.

Oakley announced Monday it was suspending its contract with Pistorius, the first double amputee sprinter to compete in the Olympics.

Called the "Blade Runner" for his carbon-fiber running blades, Pistorius is well-known around the world for his success on the track and fight to compete against able-bodied athletes. He competed at his first Paralympic Games in Athens in 2004, winning gold and bronze medals and setting a world record in the 200 meters. He qualified for the London Olympics in the 400 meters and 4x400 relay last summer.

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