Oscar Pistorius would be welcomed back to compete in paralympic events if he desires, an International Paralympic Committee official told BBC5 Radio's "5 Live Breakfast" program Friday.
"If he wishes to resume his athletics career, then we wouldn't stand in his way," Craig Spence, IPC director of media and communications, said. "We'd allow him to compete again in the future."
The superstar athlete was found guilty of culpable homicide Friday morning for the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day in 2013.
Spence said the case would not stop Pistorius from being eligible for future sporting events, but in order to compete, the South African National Paralympic Committee will first have to select him onto the team. Pistorius has not stated whether he'd return to his sport. He will learn his sentence on October 13.
Either way, Spence added, the organization has made sure to keep Pistorius' reputation out of the consideration.
"It's not for me to judge Oscar's character — I know Oscar is a very fast Paralympian who's done a great deal for the Paralympian movement," Spence added. "We'll leave the lawyers and the judge to decide what's going on in this case, and we just have to concentrate on the sport here."
In a statement on the IPC website posted after the final verdict, the organization's chief executive officer Xavier Gonzalez echoed the focus on sporting:
Following today's verdict, our thoughts remain with all those who have been affected by this terrible tragedy, in particular the family and friends of Reeva Steenkamp who sadly lost her life in this incident.
Throughout this case, the IPC has stressed the importance of differentiating between Oscar's contribution to the Paralympic Movement and his private life.
As a sports organisation, it would be unwise for the IPC to comment on the conclusion of a court case that is not related to sport."
Sportswriters have also pointed out that since Pistorius grabbed headlines during the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics, newer athletes have taken the spotlight in his sport, including American Richard Browne.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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