Oscar Pistorius Could Run at World Championships

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 28 2013 12:50 PM

Oscar Pistorius Can Now Drink a Beer, Could Still Run at this Summer's World Championships

South Africa's Oscar Pistorius crosses the line to win gold in the men's 400m at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. He hasn't raced competitively since.

Photo by Ian Kington/AFP/GettyImages

A South African judge today lifted several of the strict conditions imposed on Oscar Pistorius as part of his bail last month, allowing the former Olympic hero and current accused murderer to return to his home where he shot and killed his girlfriend, consume alcohol and even leave the country under certain conditions. (Namely, by giving the court at least a week notice and providing a detailed itinerary of his travel plans.)

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

That last one has opened the door for the Paralympic track star known as the Blade Runner to return to competition, something that would no doubt gain just a bit of international media attention, all the more so because his return to the track could include one of his sports' marquee events. The Associated Press:

International athletics body the IAAF says Oscar Pistorius would be allowed to run at this year's world championships if he qualifies after the double-amputee runner was cleared by a court to leave South Africa to compete in track meets. The Olympic athlete had appealed against some of his bail conditions, and a judge ruled Thursday that Pistorius can travel outside of South Africa to run, but with certain conditions. Pistorius is charged with murder in the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The world championships are in Moscow this year, and are set to kick off in the first half of August. Given he'd have to first qualify for any events he were to run in, that doesn't leave much time for Pistorius to get back in competition shape. He raced competitively most recently at last September's London Paralympics and, according to his agent, hasn't trained or even "seen a track" in about nine weeks. Still, the world championships could be "on the radar" if he returns to action, according to team Pistorius.

In the 2011 world championships in South Korea, Pistorius became the first amputee athlete to race in the competition, advancing to the semi-finals of the 400-meter sprint where he was eliminated. He also was part of South Africa's 4 x 400 relay team. Regardless of whether he makes a run at this year's world championships, the fact that he can now travel and compete gives him significantly more opportunities to continue to earn an income while he awaits trial.

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