Doping claims add sub-plot to court drama

Frank Dalleres
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BLADE Runner Oscar Pistorius faced accusations of doping yesterday, as day two of his bail hearing for suspected murder took an unexpected twist.

Police said they found two boxes of the male hormone testosterone and syringes at the pioneering track superstar’s Pretoria home.

But the South African’s defence lawyer Barry Roux rubbished the claim, saying that the substance found was “a herbal remedy – not a steroid and not a banned substance”.

Detective Hilton Botha, who had made the allegation, admitted under questioning that he could not be sure of the content of his discovery.

Advocate Roux told the court that the substance found was called testo-compositum co-enzyme and was commonly used by many athletes.

Pistorius, who was born without fibulas and had both legs amputated below the knee at 11 months, is the most celebrated Paralympic athlete in history. The 26-year-old, nicknamed Blade Runner, became a dominant force in the T44 100m, 200m and his specialism, the 400m, breaking several world records.

He won a legal challenge in 2008 to overturn a ban on him competing against non-disabled athletes and became the first double amputee to run at an Olympic Games last summer in London, where he reached the 400m semi-finals.

Pistorius’s tale of triumph over adversity attracted a host of blue-chip sponsors, including Nike and BT. The former has put future advertising involving Pistorius on hold while he awaits trial.

He denies the premeditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model and law graduate, at his Pretoria home in the early hours of Valentine’s Day morning last week.