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Agent cancels Pistorius' scheduled races

AP FILE South Africa's Oscar Pistorius, arrested and charged with the murder of his girlfriend last week, was visted by family members and his lawyers Sunday.

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By The Associated Press
Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013, 6:24 p.m.

JOHANNESBURG — Oscar Pistorius' track career was put on hold indefinitely Sunday because of his murder charge, reinforcing the possibility that the double-amputee Olympian and disabled sports icon might never again run competitively on his famous carbon fiber blades.

Pistorius' agent was forced to cancel all future races, he said, so Pistorius could concentrate on defending himself against allegations he murdered his model girlfriend by shooting her several times in his upscale house on Valentine's Day morning.

Reeva Steenkamp died from gunshot wounds suffered inside Pistorius' home in the predawn hours of Thursday.

Pistorius was arrested and charged with her murder the same day. His family denies the charges.

“I have decided that following these tragic events that we have no option but to cancel all future races that Oscar Pistorius had been contracted to compete in,” agent Peet van Zyl said in a written statement.

A few hours earlier, Van Zyl had visited his athlete at a police station in the South African capital, Pretoria, where he is being held in custody.

Pistorius still had “overwhelming support” from his fans, Van Zyl said as he left Brooklyn police station, but the agent steered away from a question from a reporter on what Pistorius' emotional state was like following the death of his girlfriend and a possible realization that his entire career was in ruins.

Pistorius' sponsors — including big-name brands Nike and eyewear manufacturer Oakley — also were sticking by him, Van Zyl said. But that could depend on the outcome of a possibly lengthy murder trial.

“Regarding sponsors and partners, I can confirm that at this point in time, all parties are supportive and their contractual commitments are maintained,” Van Zyl's In Site Athlete Management company said. “They have said they are happy to let the legal process take its course before making any change in their position.”

The Beaverton, Ore.-based Nike Inc. and Foothill Ranch, Calif.-based Oakley Inc. did not immediately respond to messages from The Associated Press.

Family members and his lawyers visited Pistorius on Sunday but declined comment when they arrived and when they left the police station.

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