South African sprinter OSCAR PISTORIUS, the double amputee who faces a murder trial in South Africa, "is to be given the all-clear to compete at the International Paralympic Committee World Athletics Championships in France this summer," according to Gareth A. Davies of the London TELEGRAPH. An internal report circulated within senior ranks at the IPC "has cleared the athlete," who is accused of murdering his girlfriend REEVA STEENKAMP, "to run at the event in Lyon in July." It is understood that PEET VAN ZYL, Pistorius's agent, "will be notified that the athlete will be free to register for the event, either for South Africa, or as an individual" (TELEGRAPH, 4/4). The PA's Kate Bamber wrote Van Zyl confirmed on Thursday that "Pistorius is ready to return to training as a way of dealing with his grief but has no immediate plans to compete." Pistorius "has been pictured in a South African newspaper running round a track in his home town of Pretoria." The photograph, taken by a member of a children's hockey team, shows the '12 Paralympic Gold Medal winner "wearing his blades and jogging around the track at the University of Pretoria." However, Van Zyl "denied Pistorius has returned to training." Van Zyl: "He was just having a jog around his track on his own accord. He wasn't back at training" (PA, 4/4). The AP reported in response to a claim that Pistorius had begun training as much as two weeks ago, his family denied that he was on "any official training program" and had only been out running "on a number of isolated occasions" (AP, 4/4).
People and Pop Culture
Australian National Basketball League Adelaide 36ers "are looking for a new NBL coach" after deciding against offering a new contract to MARTY CLARKE. Clarke's assistant, MARK RADFORD, "has also been let go with the club advising both of the decision" on Wednesday (AAP, 4/4). ... The Australian Olympic Committee appointed NICOLE LIVINGSTONE, KITTY CHILLER and DANIELLE WOODWARD to its exec board (THE AUSTRALIAN, 4/5).
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A-League side Central Coast Mariners midfielder TROY HEARFIELD "has been sacked by the club after failing a drugs test that revealed traces of a recreational drug" and is "wating to hear what his penalty will be" (Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH, 4/5). ... Ligue 1 Marseille midfielder JOEY BARTON has been summoned by the French Football Federation's ethics committee after he called Ligue 1 Paris St. Germain Brazilian defender THIAGO SILVA an "overweight ladyboy" on Twitter. Barton, "who has more than two million followers on the social networking site," has been involved in a spat with Silva this week following disparaging comments he made about some of the PSG player's int'l teammates (London GUARDIAN, 4/4).
Bloomberg's ALEX DUFF: "Morbo: Madrid authorities suspect premier league clubs complained to European commission over land deal with Real Madrid @elpais reports"
League One Brentford FC Chief Exec MARK DEVLIN: "Off to Meadow Lane tomorrow for a meeting of all League 1 clubs to discuss the PL solidarity payments proposals."
The Age's SAMANTHA LANE: "Lance Armstrong back in action, this time in the pool"
EPL West Ham United's BARRY WEBBER: "Been a great day with the Alpari team creating a viral video to be released later tonight."
U.K.-based AP reporter ROB HARRIS: Andy Murray's new management deal part of a push to capitalise on commercial deals in Asia and Middle East. Plus tennis expertise on board"
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