Tag Archives: pistorius

Pistorius ready to begin training as murder suspect visits Pretoria training base

Pistorius ready to begin training as murder suspect visits Pretoria training base

By
Associated Press

PUBLISHED:

17:56 GMT, 3 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:14 GMT, 4 April 2013

Oscar Pistorius wants to train again and recently went back to visit his regular track in South Africa’s capital.

There was still no decision on an exact time-frame for the multiple Paralympic champion’s return to regular running, but Pistorius told his agent Peet van Zyl and coach Ampie Louw at a Tuesday meeting that he was 'definitely keen to get back on track to resume training,' the agent said.

'When, exactly, is his choice,' Van Zyl told AP on Wednesday.

Granted: Oscar Pistorius was freed on bail after being charged with the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

Granted: Oscar Pistorius was freed on bail after being charged with the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

Pistorius had also revisited his practice track in Pretoria on March 24, although he didn’t train, the agent said.

Pistorius last trained on a track over two months ago, and his last competitive race was his victory in the 400m final at the London Paralympics in September last year.

Van Zyl said Pistorius wasn’t ready 'mentally' to compete yet after he was charged with murder in the February 14 shooting of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his home.

'From our meeting, it was clear and evident it’s going to take some time for him (to be ready to compete),” Van Zyl said. 'He’s trying to process this whole ordeal.'

Pistorius had also told his agent and coach that he would only consider running at the world championships in Moscow in August if he was in the right shape to run at the top level again.

'He (Pistorius) stated to me clearly yesterday, for the world champs, first he needs to be in some form,' Van Zyl said.

Back on track: Pistorius is keen to make a return to training, according to his agent

Back on track: Pistorius is keen to make a return to training, according to his agent

Still, Pistorius’ first significant move toward a return to the track on his carbon fiber running blades came at the meeting with his management team at the home of his uncle, Arnold Pistorius, on Tuesday night.

The 26-year-old Olympian has been staying at the house in the eastern suburbs of Pretoria since he was granted bail on February 22.

Victim: Steenkamp was shot dead in Pistorius' Pretoria apartment

Victim: Steenkamp was shot dead in Pistorius' Pretoria apartment

Pistorius denies murdering Steenkamp and says he shot her accidentally after mistaking her for an intruder in his house.

Prosecutors have charged him with pre-meditated murder and say he intentionally shot Steenkamp multiple times after the couple argued in the early hours of Valentine’s Day.

His next court appearance is on June 4.

Pistorius had visited his training track at the University of Pretoria with some other athletes, but hadn’t worked out properly, only doing a little jogging, Van Zyl said.

Although a high court ruling last week eased Pistorius’ bail restrictions on appeal and allowed him to travel to compete, Van Zyl said it would still take time to be ready for track meets.

'He hasn’t trained at all since the incident and you can’t expect him to go into competition. More important, mentally he is not there yet, he is some way off,' the agent said.

Long-time coach Louw, who discovered the double amputee’s talent for running when he was still a teenager, was eager, however, for the athlete to get back to training to help his mental process.

'Ampie was quite keen for him to start training as soon as possible so Oscar can get into some kind of routine,' Van Zyl said.

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Boat race sponsors turn tide for women rowers at long last with equal funding and prestige

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10/03/13

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03/03/13

Laura Williamson: Sickening response of UEFA to plight of travelling Spurs fans
24/02/13

Laura Williamson: It might all be finished for Pistorius but the Paralympic movement will survive
17/02/13

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VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

As the BBC and now BT Sport seem to have noted, you get a lot more action and access for your money when it comes to buying the television, sponsorship and commercial rights for women’s disciplines.

The Boat Race, an event that exudes privilege, pomp and circumstance like no other, might seem an unlikely cause to champion a step forward for sportswomen, but it is the tradition and rigmarole that makes this a particularly important development.

When Katherine Grainger returned from the Sydney Olympics in 2000 after winning Great Britain’s first medal in women’s rowing, a silver in the quad, she said someone came up to her and said: ‘We didn’t even know women rowed.’

You can understand why few — men or women — would want to, given the demands of a sport that has little time for finesse or creativity and commands absolute teamwork to succeed at the highest level.

Anna Watkins (left), with whom Grainger won gold so memorably in London in the double sculls, has said a family member tried to put her off rowing in case ‘she got big arms’. It’s all in the legs, of course, but sweeping generalisations have no time for small technicalities like that.

Watkins ploughed on regardless and, 12 years after Grainger came back from Australia with that silver medal, Britain’s women won their first Olympic gold medals since the sport was added to the programme in 1976 — three of them, in fact.

If the wheels of Oxford and Cambridge can creak slowly into action with regard to a sport as brutal and punishing as rowing, it feels like anything could happen.

WHAT THEY SAID

British athlete Lisa Dobriskey said she did not believe she was ‘competing on a level playing field’ in the Olympic 1500metres final in London and was roundly accused of sour grapes.

The gold medal-winner, Turkey’s Cakir Alptekin, is now facing a lifetime ban after ‘big abnormalities’ were found in her biological passport. Some might just owe Dobriskey an apology.

Accused: Lisa Dobriskey's opponent is facing a lifetime ban for 'big abnormalities' in her biological passport

Accused: Lisa Dobriskey's opponent is facing a lifetime ban for 'big abnormalities' in her biological passport

WHAT I'VE BEEN DOING THIS WEEK

Watched Wrexham win the FA Trophy with a 4-1 penalty shootout win over Grimsby.

On Saturday, Grimsby fans congregated in Trafalgar Square for a photo. ‘Which team is this’ said a steward. ‘So are they in the Champions League, then’ I wish.

Glory: Ecstatic Wrexham player-manager Andy Morrell celebrates with the FA Trophy

Glory: Ecstatic Wrexham player-manager Andy Morrell celebrates with the FA Trophy

Got exasperated at the persistent use of the phrase ‘pre-planned’ to describe Rio Ferdinand’s fitness programme. It is either planned or it is not, just like the defender’s ill-advised little jaunt to Doha.

Attended my first Women in Football meeting at Stamford Bridge on Friday after being, I admit, very dubious about the whole idea. I just want to be ‘in football’ rather than a ‘WiF’. I can’t tell you anything else owing to Chatham House rules, but it was certainly very, very interesting.

PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK

Arsenal Ladies beat ASD Torres 3-1 in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at Boreham Wood.

Glad to see there’s still one English team fighting for the cause in Europe — and the women’s final is at Stamford Bridge this year, too. The second leg takes place in Sardinia on Wednesday.

Oscar Pistorius accused of having testosterone and needles at his home as court hears of "non-stop shouting" before gunshots fired

Pistorius accused of having testosterone and needles at his home as court hears of 'non-stop shouting' before gunshots fired
'Non-stop' shouting heard from Pistorius' home before shooting
Court hears Reeva was shot on right side of head, in right hip and right elbowPistorius is a flight risk and shouldn't be granted bail, says detectiveUnlicensed ammunition was found at the propertyPolice say testosterone, needles found in Pistorius' bedroomPistorius has said he had been a
victim of crime and received death threats

PUBLISHED:

06:38 GMT, 20 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:14 GMT, 20 February 2013

'Non-stop shouting' was heard coming from Blade Runner Oscar Pistorius' home before his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead, his bail hearing was told today.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said the prosecution team has a witness who heard the shouting between 2am and 3am.

Steenkamp, aged 29, was shot three times in her arm, hip and head.

Two containers of testosterone and needles were also found in the bedroom of Pistorius.

The details were revealed as the second day of the 26-year-old athlete's bail hearing began at Pretoria Magistrates' Court.

Back in court: Oscar Pistorius on second day of bail hearing

Back in court: Oscar Pistorius on second day of bail hearing

VIDEO Pistorius arrives at court two hours early for second day of bail hearing

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In an affidavit, Paralympic star
Pistorius has denied murdering the model Steenkamp, 29, at his
home in the early hours of Thursday.

He has said the couple were in love
and he fired through his closed bathroom door, hitting the victim,
thinking a burglar or burglars were inside.

Steenkamp was hit three times and today the court heard the bullets hit her arm, hip and head.

Pistorius has said he shot her with a 9mm pistol.

Investigating officer Hilton Botha said he wanted the Olympian charged additionally with a weapons violation after unlicenced .38 calibre ammunition was found at the property on the exclusive Silver Lakes Golf Estate.

Pistorius arrived at the court
building in a police car with a blue blanket covering his head as
prosecutors prepared to detail why they are charging him with
premeditated murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend.

Under cover: A TV crew film Pistorius arriving at court with a blanket over his head

Under cover: A TV crew film Pistorius arriving at court with a blanket over his head

Oscar Pistorius stands in the dock

Oscar Pistorius stands in the dock

Today's proceedings were delayed as more than 100 journalists squeezed into court to report the hearing.

There were chaotic scenes as one
reporter fainted, an overflow room was set up to provide more space and
courtroom screens had technical problems.

Mr Botha said he arrived at Pistorius's house at 4.15am when the victim was already dead.
She was wearing white shorts, a black top and was covered in towels, the court was told.

Mr Botha said he believed Pistorius,
who won two gold medals and a silver at London's 2012 Paralympic Games,
was a flight risk and he was opposing bail.

He also told court Pistorius has offshore accounts and a property in Italy.

The court heard that two mobile phones were seized at the property and neither had been used to call the police or paramedics.

Pistorius has said he had been a
victim of crime and received death threats, but today the court heard
there were no records of this.

Police told the presiding magistrate that testosterone and needles were found in Pistorius's bedroom.

The athlete – who was sobbing this morning in court – made notes with a silver pen as the case progressed.

It was claimed the track star was
involved in another shooting at a restaurant in Johannesburg in January
and asked the gun owner to take responsibility for the incident.

Mr Botha also told the court of an
incident at Kyalami racetrack where Pistorius allegedly threatened to
“f*** up” a man during a row over a girl.

Anxious wait: Oscar Pistorius' sister Aimee, brother Carl and father Henke in the courtroom on Wednesday

Anxious wait: Oscar Pistorius' sister Aimee, brother Carl and father Henke in the courtroom on Wednesday

Inside Oscar's Bathroom - a graphic illustrating a suggested representation of the events that lead to Reeva Steenkamp's death

Prosecutors want to show why he should be denied bail. Pistorius denies the charge, and said it was an accidental shooting.

The double-amputee Olympian, his
brother, father and uncle were inside the court room as proceedings for
the bail hearing began. The room was packed for a second day.

The 26-year-old Pistorius sat in the
back of the car, which was in a convoy of three police vehicles that
entered the Pretoria Magistrate's Court through a side entrance ahead of
the second day of his bail hearing.

A detective has testified that Pistorius is a flight risk and shouldn't be granted bail.

Mr
Botha also said in the star athlete's bail hearing Wednesday that
Pistorius illegally possessed .38-caliber ammunition in a safe in his
bedroom.

Pistorius is
charged with premeditated murder for the Valentine's Day shooting death
of Steenkamp with a 9 mm pistol. The policeman testified that Pistorius
did not have a license for a .38-caliber weapon and consequently
possession of that ammunition was illegal.

Pistorius
argued in a court affidavit Tuesday that the shooting was accidental
and he thought the model was an intruder in his home.

The detective says all Pistorius would say after the shooting was 'he thought it was a burglar'.

Pistorius' attorney read out an emotional statement on Tuesday in which the
athlete denied murder.

In the statement, which Pistorius was too upset to read out himself, the
athlete said the couple were 'deeply in love', adding: 'I am absolutely
mortified by the events and the devastating loss of my beloved Reeva.'

In his statement, the 26-year-old claimed he mistook Steenkamp for a
burglar after hearing a noise in his bathroom.
Believing Steenkamp to be still in bed, he grabbed his 9mm pistol and
shouted a warning before firing shots at the toilet door.

Pistorius added: 'When I reached the bed, I realised that Reeva was not
in bed. That is when it dawned on me that it could have been Reeva who
was in the toilet.

'I returned to the bathroom calling her name. I tried to open the toilet
door but it was locked. I rushed back to the bedroom and opened the
sliding door exiting on to the balcony and screamed for help.'

According to Pistorius he then smashed his way into the toilet using a
cricket bat, finding her 'slumped over but alive'. He then phoned for an
ambulance and carried her downstairs, but she died in his arms.

Magistrate Desmond Nair ruled that the case was a schedule six offence –
meaning premeditated murder – for the purpose of the bail hearing in
Pretoria.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel told the court the victim arrived at the house
between 5pm and 6pm on Wednesday, and went to the bathroom after an
argument between the pair.
He said that at 3am Pistorius got up from his bed, walked to the
bathroom door and fired four shots through the closed door, hitting her
three times.

Nel said: 'She couldn't go anywhere. You can run nowhere.'
He told the court Pistorius later told a friend he thought she was a
burglar. Nel added: 'It was all part of the pre-planning. Why would a
burglar lock himself inside the bathroom'

The bail hearing came as Steenkamp's funeral was held in her home town of Port Elizabeth.
Steenkamp was cremated at a memorial service attended by family and
friends who had travelled from around the world. Six pallbearers carried
her coffin, draped with a white cloth and covered in white flowers.

Earlier, French fashion house Thierry Mugler became the latest high-profile sponsor to distance itself from Pistorius.

The company has announced the immediate and complete withdrawal of all
products featuring Pistorius, including its 'A*men Pure Shot' fragrance
featuring Pistorius, which was launched as a special edition to mark
last year's London Paralympics.

In addition, Thierry Mugler has removed all point-of-sale advertising
featuring Pistorius, and deleted all references to the athlete from its
website.
Two other major sponsors, Oakley and Nike, also distanced themselves
from the athlete this week. Oakley has suspended its contract with
Pistorius while Nike said it has no plans to use him in future
campaigns.

Oscar Pistorius back in court for murder bail application as funeral held for Reeva Steenkamp

Pistorius 'attached his legs, walked seven metres and shot four times': Paralympic star back in court for murder bail hearing as funeral held for girlfriend Steenkamp

PUBLISHED:

06:41 GMT, 19 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:53 GMT, 19 February 2013

Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius shot dead his model girlfriend through a closed bathroom door, a court heard today.

A tearful Pistorius, known as the Blade Runner for his prosthetic legs, appeared in a South African court for his second appearance over the death of Reeva Steenkamp.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel told the hearing that Pistorius shot Steenkamp four times inside his Pretoria home on Thursday.

Pistorius, 26, was formally charged with the premeditated murder of his girlfriend.

Scroll down for video

Oscar Pistorius, centre with head covered, leaves the Brooklyn Police Station on his way to court hearing on Tuesday

Bail hearing: Oscar Pistorius, centre with head covered, in a police car on his way to court on Tuesday

Solemn: Pallbearers carry the coffin of Reeva Steenkamp into the crematorium in Port Elizabeth

Solemn: Pallbearers carry the coffin of Reeva Steenkamp into the crematorium in Port Elizabeth

Emotional: Barry Steenkamp, father of Reeva (second left), arrives at the crematorium in Port Elizabeth

Emotional: Barry Steenkamp, father of Reeva (second left), arrives at the crematorium in Port Elizabeth

Respects: Springboks rugby star Francois Hougaard arrives for the memorial service

Memorial: Springboks rugby star Francois Hougaard arrives for the service

VIDEO She was good & strong. Reeva's brother remembers her ahead of funeral

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Mr Nel said the victim arrived at the house between 5pm and 6pm the night before she was killed at 3am. He said she was locked inside the small bathroom and was unarmed.

'She couldn't go anywhere. You can run nowhere,' said Mr Nel.

The prosecutor also said the athlete, who broke down in tears during the hearing, had not provided investigators with his own version of what happened.

Barry Roux, defending, said Ms Steenkamp was not murdered, and there were a number of cases where men have shot members of their own family through doors after mistaking them for burglars.

He also suggested that Pistorius broke the bathroom door down to help Ms Steenkamp after the shooting.

The charge was made as Steenkamp's
body was being driven to a church for a memorial service in the
south-coast city of Port Elizabeth. The family said members have
gathered from around the world.

Pistorius uncovered

When Sportsmail's award-winning photographer Andy Hooper was invited into the home of Oscar Pistorius

Laura Williamson: It might all be finished for Pistorius but the Paralympic movement will survive

Pistorius' arrest triggered shock
across the globe and prompted rumours that he might have mistaken his
girlfriend for an intruder in what could have been a Valentine's Day
surprise gone wrong.

But police swiftly distanced
themselves from that suggestion and said there had been previous
incidents of a 'domestic nature' at Pistorius' house.

His family has vowed to fight the murder charge in the 'strongest terms'.

Pistorius's management company has
issued a statement announcing it had 'no option' but to cancel all
future races the double amputee was contracted to compete in.

Managing agent Peet Van Zyl said the athlete's 'key focus is defending himself against this serious charge'.

Pistorius, who won two gold medals
and a silver at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, was contracted to
compete in the Manchester City Games on May 25, following Qantas Tour
races in Australia on March 9 and 16 and meetings in Rio de Janeiro
(March 31) and Iowa (April 26).

Video: Pistorius arrives at court

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Journalists watched Pistorius, head
covered with a hoodie, leave the police station and arrive at the back
entrance to the courthouse in Pretoria, before 7am.

Pistorius' brother Carl and longtime
track coach Ampie Louw – the man who convinced Pistorius to take up
athletics – were also in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court building,
pointing out friends of the family that should be allowed in. Queue of
dozens of people waited to go in that public entrance.

Pistorius
was remanded in custody after a hearing on Friday at which prosecutors
said they intended to pursue a case of premeditated murder against the
athlete – which means he could face a life sentence.

And
they are set to strongly oppose a bid by Pistorius' legal team for the
Paralympic athlete to be granted bail at a court hearing.

Breakdown: Oscar Pistorius wept uncontrollably in court as the charge was read out

Shocking: Oscar Pistorius was charged with murdering his girlfriend on Valentine's Day at his Pretoria home

Grisly scenes: A graphic cartoon strip has been published depicting the last moments before Oscar Pistorius allegedly shot his girlfriend dead

Grisly scenes: A graphic cartoon strip has been published depicting the last moments before Oscar Pistorius allegedly shot his girlfriend dead

Home: Neighbours of the athlete say they heard noise from the house (pictured today) just before the authorities arrived

Concern: Police say that there had been previous incidents of a 'domestic nature' at Pistorius's property

Police
swiftly distanced themselves from an initial suggestion that Pistorius
may have mistaken his girlfriend for an intruder in what could have been
a Valentine's Day surprise gone wrong.

They added that there had been previous incidents of a 'domestic nature' at Pistorius's property.
His family has vowed to fight the murder charge in the 'strongest terms'.

Pistorius's best friend claimed the
sports star called him minutes after the shooting telling him 'there has
been a terrible accident', according to the Sunday People.

Justin Divaris said: 'It's all very sad. Oscar called me at 3.55am saying that Reeva had been shot.
It was very traumatic. By the time we got there it was already a crime scene and we weren't allowed in the house.'

Pistorius's father said he had 'zero doubt' Miss Steenkamp's death was a
tragic accident and that his son may have acted 'on instinct'.

Henke Pistorius said he believed the model was killed after being mistaken for an intruder at his son's house.

Pistorius and girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

Support: Pistorius's father said he had 'zero doubt' Miss Steenkamp's death was a
tragic accident

The funeral of Reeva Steenkamp also takes place today

The funeral of Reeva Steenkamp also takes place today

He said: 'When you are a sportsman, you act even more on instinct.

'It's instinct – things happen and that's what you do.'

Meanwhile Steenkamp's mother has paid tribute to her daughter, describing her as the 'most beautiful person who ever lived.'

Mrs Steenkamp told South African newspaper The Times: 'She loved like no one else could love.

'She had so much of herself to give and now all of it is gone. Just like
that, she is gone … In the blink of an eye and a single breath, the
most beautiful person who ever lived is no longer here.

'All we have is this horrendous death to deal with … to get to grips
with. All we want are answers … answers as to why this had to happen,
why our beautiful daughter had to die like this.'

Oscar Pistorius to race horse

Pistorius aims to end memorable 2012 with another win… but this time he's racing a horse!

|

UPDATED:

13:37 GMT, 12 December 2012

Oscar Pistorius made history at London 2012 when he became the first double amputee to compete at the Olympic Games before claiming two gold medals at the Paralympics.

But just when you thought the South African’s trail blazing antics were done, the 26-year-old sprinter has given himself one final challenge to see out an incredible 2012.

Not content with defeating athletes on two legs, Pistorius has raised the bar again by doubling his troubles in taking on an Arabian horse!

Blade runner: Pistorius won two gold medals at London 2012

Blade runner: Pistorius won two gold medals at London 2012

The ‘run like the wind challenge’ is set to take place at Qatar’s Aspire Zone outdoor circuit in Doha on Wednesday night and is an event that the world record holder in the T44 200m and 400m is looking forward to.

Pistorius said on Twitter: ‘Racing An Arab Horse on Wednesday night for the #runlikethewind Campaign in Doha. @DohaGOALS going to be INSANE!’

The six time Paralympic gold medalist also added in a press conference how he would prepare for the race.

‘I am going to do great deal of stretching, Pistorius said. ‘I will make sure I have enough protein in my system. Arabian horses [are] an iconic thing of the region. It is just a very special kind of thing to do. I think it is going to be an amazing spectacle.’

The competition: Pistorius will be taking on an Arabian horse

The competition: Pistorius will be taking on an Arabian horse

The race is in aid of promoting the Definitely Able campaign in Qatar, which supported by energy and chemical company Sasol, aims to raise awareness and contributions of those with disabilities in the community.

Pistorius, who reached the semi-finals at the Olympics, may have his work cut out to win this event though judging by stars that have tried to race different animals before him.

Fellow countryman Bryan Habana attempted to take on a cheetah five years ago in an attempt to raise awareness over the species’ dwindling numbers.

But despite being given a 35-yard head start, the 2007 Rugby Union World Cup winner still failed to get the better of the feline. Oscar, you have been warned.

2012 heroes miss out on Christmas books bonanza

2012 heroes miss out on Christmas books bonanza

|

UPDATED:

23:22 GMT, 17 November 2012

The biggest British stars of the summer's Olympics are capitalising on their Games glory with autobiographies aimed at the lucrative Christmas market – but the giants of the Paralympics are missing out after failing to anticipate a booming demand for their own inspirational stories.

Olympic gold medal winners Bradley Wiggins, Jess Ennis, Victoria Pendleton, Mo Farah and Chris Hoy have all got new or updated books on the shelves or in production, and hope to spend the festive season revelling in the fruits of their literary labours.

2012 star: David Weir

Missing out: Four-time 2012 gold winner David Weir

But no books are expected soon, certainly not this year, by arguably the three stand-out stars of the Paralympics: four-times 2012 gold winner David Weir, double gold-winning swimmer Ellie Simmonds, 18, and Jonnie Peacock, 19, who became a megastar in the T44 100 metres.

Simmonds' spokesman, Adam Wheatley, said no book had been planned because 'we didn't want to pre-empt success or apply any additional pressure to have a publisher writing copy during training and getting pictures pre-Olympics.'

He added that talks are on-going with publishers but 'we were very conscious not to trot a book out just for the Christmas market, it has to be right'.

Peacock's name was chanted by 80,000 fans in the Olympic Stadium before winning a final in which he left Paralympic legend Oscar Pistorius in his wake and eventually fourth. His agent, Lu Napthine, said there are 'no concrete plans' for a book, but his advisers are 'keen to capitalise on the interest in Jonnie at the moment on the back of the Paralympics'.

Easy rider: Wiggins leaving his home in the village of Eccleston in Lancashire on Friday morning

Covered: Gold medal winner Bradley Wiggins

Weir is expected to tell his own compelling story in an autobiography ghosted by the BBC's highly respected sports editor David Bond, although one source concedes that better planning and a realisation that the Paralympics were going to be such a hit might have led to swifter publication.

'Some publishers say these books should be out now, in 2012, and might miss their moment,' said one publishing source.

Another, veteran literary agent David Luxton, who has worked on autobiographies by Jenson Button, Mark Cavendish, Fernando Torres and Robbie Fowler among others, said: 'If books are brought out next year, it is quite likely that there will be other elements to the stories because they will have moved on with their careers and lives that will make it a good read and strong selling point.'

A new poll of 1,200 people conducted by StreetGames, a charity that promotes sport for young people in deprived communities, cements the notion that both summer Games gripped the nation equally, finding that the five most inspirational athletes of the summer to young people were Ennis, Simmonds, Farah, Pendleton and Peacock.

Premiership clubs are accused of docking England players' wages

Some of England's leading Premiership rugby clubs stand accused of 'morally abhorrent' behaviour for issuing contracts that see players docked up to half of their weekly salaries (as much as 2,500 in some cases) for playing for England.

Europe's top clubs were last week heavily criticised for allegedly blackmailing players from Fiji and other Pacific nations to turn their backs on Test rugby in order to bolster their clubs' league hopes on international weekends.

Now Inside Sport has learned that despite being financially rewarded by the RFU for producing home-grown talent, top Premiership clubs are understood to dock player's wages if they miss a first-team fixture in order to play for their country.

The practice is a clear breach of International Rugby Board Regulation 9.3, which states: 'No union, association, rugby body or club, whether by contract, conduct or otherwise, may inhibit, prevent, discourage, dis-incentivise or render unavailable any player from selection, attendance and appearance in a national representative team or national squad session.'

England players receive up to 15,000 in national appearance fees but Rugby Players' Association chief executive Damian Hopley insists the practice of reducing club salaries remains a serious blight on the game.

'It is something we have taken up with all parties because we don't think it is fair,' he said.

'It is immoral to penalise a player for reaching his potential in international sport … morally it is abhorrent. … there are three clubs that we know currently practise it.

'It is disappointing and we are working as hard as possible to put an end to it.'

Veteran former BBC commentator Clive Everton was the 'voice of snooker' during the golden age of the baize in the Eighties when up to 18.5million watched the world finals.

But in a new book that also details his demise at the Beeb, where he was axed from regular slots in 2009, he claims 'the first clear sign of trouble' arrived in 2006 when he wrote 'an accurate but unflattering profile' of Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards, who had been drafted on to snooker's ruling body.

Everton says this upset acquaintances of Richards, who worked for the independent firm that produced the BBC's coverage, and his position was shaky from that point onwards. Sir Dave did not respond to requests for a comment.

Doctor Oscar! Golden "Bladerunner" Pistorious returns to Britain Strathclyde

Doctor Oscar! Golden 'Bladerunner' returns to Britain to collect yet more honors

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UPDATED:

17:13 GMT, 12 November 2012

Oscar Pistorius, one of the great stars of London 2012, has been made an honorary doctor by Strathclyde University.

The
South African double amputee, who dazzled in the olympic Stadium has
been recognised for his outstanding sporting success at the ceremony in
Glasgow.

The first
double leg amputee to compete at both the Olympic and Paralympic Games –
nicknamed 'Bladerunner' – said the award of his honorary doctorate
capped off an amazing year.

Oscar Pistorious receives his honorary doctorate from Strathclyde University

Oscar Pistorious receives his honorary doctorate from Strathclyde University

'Today is a very proud day for me,” he said.

'The people of Scotland are always so warm and welcoming towards me, and I think of it as my second home here.

'Thank you to everyone at the university for their support, this truly does cap what has been an amazing year for me.'

Doctor Oscar: He faces the cameras after receiving his scroll

Doctor Oscar: He faces the cameras after receiving his scroll

Scroll on, Oscar: He collects his doctorate for outstanding sporting success

Scroll on, Oscar: He collects his doctorate for outstanding sporting success

Pleased as punch: Oscar takes hold of a prosthetic hand during a visit to Strathclyde University

Pleased as punch: Oscar takes hold of a prosthetic hand during a visit to Strathclyde University

Pistorius added: 'There are a lot of youngsters here (at the centre) that I can identify with.

'When
I was young I used to go to a prosthetics centre and I spent a lot of
time there – when kids are growing, their braces have to change as they
put on muscle and weight.

'Some of these kids spend a lot of time here and they form great relationships with their therapists, which is quite special.

'I think when you see some of the kids here, they've really come to find this as a second home.'

Pistorius later joined hundreds of engineering graduates for a ceremony at the university's Barony Hall.

Oscar meeting with patients during a visit to the National Centre for Prosthetics and Orthotics

Oscar meeting with patients during a visit to the National Centre for Prosthetics and Orthotics

Professor Sir Jim McDonald,
Principal of the University, said: 'We are delighted to welcome Oscar
back to the University. His sporting success, combined with his
determination to help people affected by disability, has made him an
excellent role model, not only for our graduating students here at
Strathclyde, but for millions of people across the globe.

'As
a leading technological University, we are committed to ‘useful
learning’ – teaching and research that has an impact on society.

'It
is fitting that Oscar’s visit has included a visit to our Department
for Biomedical Bioengineering – an excellent example of what can be
achieved by bringing together innovative technologies, determined people
and excellent teaching to improve lives.'

Adam Donnachie, 11, from Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, who was born with both his lower legs missing, said talking to Pistorius was the 'best thing that has ever happened' to him.

Adam said: “It was the time of my life getting to meet him, a dream come true. He’s my hero because he just never gives up.

'Meeting him was the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

'I swim with Scotland just now, we train four times a week, and I’d like to follow in Oscar’s footsteps by going to the Paralympics.

'It’s one of my goals to make it to Rio in 2016.'

Professor
Bernie Conway, Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, said:
'There can be no doubt that Oscar Pistorius is a remarkable person and
athlete, where the will to prepare to win is strong but is rooted in a
positive life philosophy that centres on trust, equality and respect for
others.

'A winner whose
winning habit has been powered by dedication, commitment and an
unshakable determination to live a life without limitations or barriers,
Oscar’s road to success has been both inspirational and immensely
challenging.

'We see our
own mission to provide training and innovation that can better people’s
lives and with this honorary award to Oscar, we wish to recognise not
only his remarkable past achievements, but his future commitment and
drive to help people and children affected by disability.'

Gold star: Oscar wins the men's 400-meter T44 final in London.

Gold star: Oscar wins the men's 400-meter T44 final in London.

Oscar Pistorius to compete in Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

Man of many talents: Blade Runner Pistorius set to compete in Dunhill Links Championship

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UPDATED:

17:45 GMT, 28 September 2012

'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius will compete in next week's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Fife.

The South African Olympian and Paralympian, who runs on carbon fibre blades, plays off an 18 handicap and will feature in the team competition which sees amateurs competing alongside professionals.

Many talents: Oscar Pistorius is an adept golfer and plays off 18

Many talents: Oscar Pistorius is an adept golfer and plays off 18

Pistorius, who won two gold medals and a silver at the London Paralympics, said: 'I am a big golf fan and love the game.

'I have never played St Andrews, Carnoustie or Kingsbarns before, so playing them in a world-class event is a unique opportunity.

'There is so much history at St Andrews, every golfer longs to play there.'

Other amateurs featuring along with 10 Major winners include actor Greg Kinnear, musician Huey Lewis and former Dutch footballers Ruud Gullit and Johan Cruyff.

Ernie Els and Paul Lawrie are among the professionals who will tee off on Thursday, along with holder Michael Hoey.

Blade Runner: Pistorius competed at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London

Blade Runner: Pistorius competed at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London

Hat"ll do nicely! Bladerunner Pistorius gets warm reception as he returns to South Africa

Hat'll do nicely! Bladerunner Pistorius gets warm reception as he returns to South Africa

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UPDATED:

12:30 GMT, 11 September 2012

More than a million fans rammed the streets of central London on Monday to salute Britain's Olympic and Paralympic heroes.

And around the world too, athletes are returning home from London's summer celebration of sport to warm receptions.

The South African Bladerunner Oscar Pistorius was all smiles as he was presented with a cheque for 700,000 Rand (just over 53,000) upon his return home to Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Rand reward: Oscar Pistorius is presented with a cheque for R700,000 (about 53,000) by South African Minister of Sports Fikile Mbalula

Rand reward: Oscar Pistorius is presented with a cheque for R700,000 (about 53,000) by South African Minister of Sports Fikile Mbalula

Dozens of fans turned out at the airport to greet the world's most famous disabled athlete, who won two gold medals and one silver at the London Games.

And the precious metal was on display as Pistorius accepted his financial reward for winning the T44 400 metres and the 4 x 100 metre relay from the country's Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula.

Welcome home! Pistorius, his gold and silver medals hanging around his neck, signs autographs as he steps off the plan at O.R Tambo Airport in Johannesburg

Welcome home! Pistorius, his gold and silver medals hanging around his neck, signs autographs as he steps off the plan at O.R Tambo Airport in Johannesburg

Pleased as punch: Dozens of fans turned out at the airport to welcome Pistorius back onto home soil

Pleased as punch: Dozens of fans turned out at the airport to welcome Pistorius back onto home soil

His silver came in the T44 200 metres, where he finished second behind Brazil's Alan Oliveira amid controversy about the length of the winner's blades.

But Pistorius was beaten into fourth in his other race, the 100 metres, which was won by Great Britain's Jonnie Peacock.

However, this didn't seem to bother him as he sported a fetching hat in the South African national colours as he received his cheque.

Before leaving London last night, Pistorius spoke about the 2012 Paralympics in glowing terms.

Hard hat area: Pistorius is presented with some headgear as he accepts a reward from the South African Government

Hard hat area: Pistorius is presented with some headgear as he accepts a reward from the South African Government

Brilliant Bladerunner: Pistorius celebrates a dominant win in the T44 400 metres final

Brilliant Bladerunner: Pistorius celebrates a dominant win in the T44 400 metres final

He said: 'The summer has been a dream come true. Lord Coe and his team at Locog have done the most amazing job.

'Their attention to detail has made this the most phenomenal and successful Olympic and Paralympic Games.

'I think the world has finally seen that Paralympic sport is truly elite. It has performances that are really worth supporting and worth getting to know the athletes for.

'It's been a humbling blessing to be here.'

London 2012 Paralympics: Road to Rio

Road to Rio 2016: So what do we have to look forward to in four years

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 9 September 2012

Split on the cards

David Prince broke the T44 400m world record in 50.61sec to take bronze but was five seconds off Oscar Pistorius’s T43 best of 45.30sec. Prince says the combined class favours those with two amputations. Keeping them together ensures a deep pool of talent, splitting them may mean a fairer field.

Rivalries will continue

The youthful head-to-heads we have seen in London will develop. Jonnie Peacock, 19, has challengers Richard Browne, 21, and Alan Oliveira, 20, while Ellie Simmonds and Victoria Arlen, both 17, have shared three thrilling races. 'I look forward to racing her in the future,' Arlen said.

Rivalries: Eleanor Simmonds and Victoria Arlen are set to battle it out for years

Rivalries: Eleanor Simmonds and Victoria Arlen are set to battle it out for years

Who gets the funding

UK Sport channelled 49,254,386 of Lottery and Government funding into Paralympic sports in the last four years and have committed the same amount for Rio but some may suffer. Archery, wheelchair basketball and swimming missed their targets while goalball and sitting volleyball could be at risk too.

Most improved: Yang Yang helped China continue on their upward trajectory at the Games

Most improved: Yang Yang helped China continue on their upward trajectory at the Games

China to stay at the top

China used to have a poor reputation for disability sport and were ninth in Atlanta 1996 with 16 golds. But, thanks to the likes of swimmer Yang Yang, who won four events, they have broken the record number of golds, topping the medal table with 95. They won 89 in Beijing and 63 in Athens and you can expect them to dominate in Rio too.

Into 2013 and beyond…

Athletics and swimming have been at the forefront of the Paralympics and both have their world championships next year. Lyon, France, hosts David Weir and Jonnie Peacock between July 20-29 and Ellie Simmonds will race in Canada from August 8-20. At the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 there are 22 medals available in five sports

.