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Pistorius Could Still Compete For South Africa In Olympics

Despite a conviction for culpable homicide and the looming possibility of a prison sentence, Oscar Pistorius would be free to compete in the Olympics, according to the head of South Africa's Olympic committee.

From The Associated Press:

"South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee chief executive Tubby Reddy tells The Associated Press that the sports body has no regulations that prevent someone with a criminal record from representing the country."

Pistorius, the double-amputee Olympic and Paralympic runner who shot and killed his girlfriend in his home in 2013, still faces a sentencing hearing to determine his punishment. At his recently concluded trial, a court found Pistorius not guilty on the charge of premeditated murder in the death of Reeva Steenkamp, who was killed by bullets that were fired through a locked bathroom door.

In South Africa, legal experts are calling for the state to appeal the court's finding, with the website news24 saying they're seeking both clarity and justice.

But the site also notes that prosecutors won't decide on an appeal until after Pistorius is sentenced on Oct. 13. His conviction carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

Pistorius is likely to spend little or no time in jail, legal analysts tell South Africa's Sunday Independent. They say that as a first-time offender, the track star is more likely to face a fine, community service and house arrest.

Discussing the athlete's possible return to racing, the website adds:

"Whether Pistorius would be welcomed back by his fellow athletes is another question. Athletes and coaches who know him speak of a multimillionaire whose life had been spiraling dangerously out of control for months before he killed Steenkamp."

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Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.
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