The chief executive of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) says he would have no problem with disgraced sprinter Oscar Pistorius appearing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics or Paralympics.
Tubby Reddy said that the convicted murderer could appear in the Japanese capital as he would have “paid his debt to society”.
Blade runner Pistorius was jailed for six years on Wednesday (July 6) after he shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp four times through a locked toilet door on Valentine’s Day in 2013.
But it seems likely that he will be released before he has served the entirety of his sentence, so potentially in time for Tokyo.
“He would have paid his debt to society and will be back in society, living as a normal South African citizen,” Reddy said to the Daily Mail.
“There is no rule that says he wouldn’t be able to participate.
“Yes, the sentence he has been given has divided opinion.
“There are those who are happy about it and there are those who are unhappy, and you will always have that.
‘But if he is out on parole, as it seems he will be before then, and qualifies for selection then I don’t see how there can be a problem – why not?
“He would have to train and get his mental strength back, but those are challenges he would have to set for himself.”
Pistorius, a six-time Paralympic gold medallist on the track, later became one of only a handful of athletes to also grace the Olympic stage when he appeared at London 2012.
The 29-year-old was originally convicted of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, in 2014.
But he was found guilty of murder by an appeals court the following year, a crime which can carry a minimum sentence of 15-years in jail under South African law.
Pistorius was initially sentenced to five years and spent a year behind bars in Pretoria before being granted a public pardon and being released in October last year.
He was escorted directly to Khosi Mampuru prison in Pretoria following the new verdict, but the supposed leniency of the sentence has resulted in widespread condemnation.
By Dan Palmer
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz