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Pistorius meets probation officials, talks training

Star athlete Oscar Pistorius met South African probation officers on Monday and discussed conditions to restart training as he awaits trial for the murder of his girlfriend, a prisons spokesman said.

The sprinter met authorities at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court to discuss the terms of his release on bail, which was granted last Friday after more than a week in custody.

Prosecutors charge that Pistorius intentionally shot dead 29-year-old model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp at his upmarket Pretoria home in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in a case that has shocked the crime-plagued nation and the world.

The Olympic and Paralympic sprinter denies the charge, insisting that he repeatedly shot at Steenkamp through a locked bathroom door in the dead of night having mistaken her for a burglar.

His training may resume “in the days to come,” said correctional services spokesman James Smalberger, adding the venue and times “will still be finalised.”

“We requested his coach to provide us with the training programme so we can fit it into the conditions.”

The 26-year-old champion Paralympian was released on one million rand ($112,408) bail last week, and ordered to return to court in June.

The sprinter does not need to report to authorities, but will be subjected to unannounced visits and has to inform officials of his movements.

“He will not be required to report to correctional services. We will rather visit him at his residence or if he is at training we might even pop in there to see whether he’s there,” said Smalberger.

“He will be visited at least four times a month,” he added.

Earlier reports said Pistorius had to report Mondays and Fridays to Pretoria’s Brooklyn police station — where a large contingent of local and international media waited in vain to catch a glimpse of him on Monday.

But the condition had been a suggestion from defence and prosecution teams that the magistrate, Desmond Nair, did not include in his final order, a prosecution official said.

The condition was not listed on the bail order document seen by AFP.

Pistorius is due back in court on June 4.

In addition to the bail payment, one of the highest ever set in South Africa, Pistorius had to surrender his passports and firearms.

He is barred from taking alcohol or drugs and will be subject to random tests.

“Testing will obviously kick in. I don’t want to give the routine now, but obviously it will be at regular intervals,” said Smalberger.

The athlete had not been tested yet, he added.

Pistorius has to inform a prisons official of his movements within Pretoria and needs permission to leave the capital. He has been banned from leaving the country.

Officials are to meet the runner at his uncle’s house in Pretoria on Saturday to confirm the address where he is staying.

The athlete’s father Henke told AFP in a telephone call on Monday that matters were “under control”.

“Everything is prepared for the trial,” he said, though he lashed out at news coverage of his family.

“The media have once again proven themselves reckless,” he said, hanging up the phone.

Pistorius’ elder brother Carl made headlines Sunday over a manslaughter charge for a 2008 accident in which a woman motorcyclist died.

Pistorius inspired millions of people around the world after becoming the first double amputee to compete against able-bodied athletes in the Olympic Games last year in London.

The shooting has riveted South Africa and the world, bringing Pistorius’ career and endorsements to a halt.