Oscar Pistorius’ agent, Peet Van Zyl, says that his client has faced an outpouring of support from fans across the world amid new claims that police are investigating a bloodied cricket bat found at the crime scene on the day of Reeva Steenkamp’s death.
Pistorius, a local sports icon who made history as the double amputee sprinter to compete in the Olympics, is currently behind bars and is due to apply for bail on Tuesday, the NY Daily News reported. Van Zyl said that “a lot of fans" had sent well wishes to Pistorius, describing their support for the athlete as "really on a global scale. South African fans, international fans from literally all over the world."
He added that despite the “tragic circumstance,” Pistorius’ sponsors were upholding their contracts with the runner.
“All parties are supportive and their contractual commitments are maintained. … They have said they are happy to let the legal process take its course,” Van Zyl said, adding that he had "not read a lot of the media" concerning the murder charges against Pistorius.
"The nature of my visit was on a professional manner to discuss his career and the plans that we had made for this year with the IAAF (world) championships in Moscow as the main goal for this year," Van Zyl said. "We obviously just discussed the races and the contracts that had been signed and secured for this year and also to keep him up to date with regard to the sponsors."
The South African newspaper the City Press dropped a bombshell on Sunday, when it reported that police were considering the cricket bat a crucial piece of evidence in the murder case. The paper reported that the bat, which is typically heavier and longer than a baseball bat, may have been used by Pistorius to assault his girlfriend, or by the 29-year-old model to defend herself. The paper claimed that part of Steenkamp’s skull was “crushed” and that the police were conducting tests on the cricket bat to determine whether it was responsible for the blows to her head.
“There was lots of blood on the bat,” a source told the paper. “Forensic tests will show whose blood it was.”
Although a police spokeswoman denied that the information published by City Press had come from police, she did not outright refute the claims. "We are not commenting on anything in the newspapers today as the case is still before the court," she said. "They are insinuating they got the information from the police. They did not."
Steenkamp’s body was discovered in Pistorius’ home in Pretoria on Valentine’s Day, lying in a pool of her own blood with four gunshot wounds. The Guardian reported that it is believed that Steenkamp may have been shot through the bathroom door in Pistorius’ home, possibly at close range.
Steenkamp, a former FHM cover model and reality television personality, was believed to have been sleeping before the violent incident took place at approximately 3:20 a.m. City Press reported that she was wearing a nightie at the time, and that the sheets in Pistorius’ bedroom showed signs that two people had slept there.