Oscar Pistorius is ready to return to training as a way of dealing with his grief but has no immediate plans to compete, his agent Peet van Zyl confirmed today.
Pistorius, who denies the charge of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and is currently awaiting trial, 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 2012 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 following the relaxation of his bail conditions, which now allow him to travel abroad in order to continue his athletics career, but confirmed he could resume soon.
“He was just having a jog around his track on his own accord. He wasn’t back at training,” Van Zyl told Press Association Sport.
“That picture was taken by a schoolkid on March 24. Myself, Oscar and his coach had a meeting on Tuesday to discuss him getting him back to training.
“Based on that he told us he would like to get back in training and we can now look at formulating his training schedule.
“He is finding it very difficult and he is still coming to terms with the sad loss of Reeva. That is why it will be better for him to be back at training. It will be great to get him back to the track and get some routine. That’s why we are taking it day by day.
“I can’t see there would be any people saying this is disrespectful. This is not disrespectful to Reeva or her family.
“This has been part of his life for so many years. If it makes things easier for him to work through it and get some sense back into his life, let him run and let him jog.
“He’s a human being and that’s maybe an outlet for him.”
While a return to training might be on the cards for Pistorius, who holds several IPC World Championship titles over 200 metres, 400m and 4x400m, Van Zyl revealed there is currently no plan regarding his competitive return, if he is invited to compete.
“We haven’t even spoken to him or contemplated him running in a competition,” Van Zyl said.
“He has got to be able to train first and be in some decent form as a world-class athlete before we would allow him to run in a competition.
“If he trains well and his mindset is right then by all means we will look at competitions and options. When that will be we don’t know. It could happen quickly or it could take a year.
“But at the moment, there is no specific date when it comes to him returning to training.
“In the current state he is in he might get up tomorrow and give the coach a phone call and say he might want to train again. He then might not want to train for a few days.
“We are not going to force him. We are going to be guided by him.”
Pistorius has not trained for two months since the tragic events on Valentine’s Day, and in order to return to competitive fitness he would need to train up to 35 hours a week on the track and in the gym.
His last competitive race was his victory in the 400m final at the London Paralympics in September last year.
Despite reports today suggesting the 26-year-old will be given the green light to compete at the International Paralympic Committee’s World Athletics Champs in Lyon in July, the IPC has denied a decision has been made.
A spokesperson told Press Association Sport: “The IPC management is yet to meet to discuss this issue so we are surprised as anyone to see this story today.
“We have not made any decision yet.”