Oscar Pistorius contract suspended by Nike

Nike "I am the bullet in the chamber" ad campaign
Image caption The Nike ad campaign featuring Oscar Pistorius was swiftly pulled after the crisis broke

US sportswear giant Nike has suspended its contract with Oscar Pistorius, who is accused of murdering his girlfriend.

"We believe Oscar Pistorius should be afforded due process and we will continue to monitor the situation closely," a Nike spokesman said.

It recently pulled ads that featured Mr Pistorius and the line, "I am the bullet in the chamber".

He also has deals with BT, Oakley, and Ossur, the Icelandic firm that makes his carbon-fibre blades.

Mr Pistorius, a Paralympic champion, denies the premeditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He is in court in South Africa this week to press to be released on bail pending his trial.

On Wednesday, Clarins said that it would no longer run Thierry Mugler ads featuring Mr Pistorius "out of respect and compassion for the families involved".

The Paralympian was chosen as the face of the fashion firm's A*Men fragrance in 2011.

Another of Mr Pistorius' sponsors, a South African pay TV channel, pulled its TV ad campaign featuring the athlete recently.

Mr Pistorius won gold medals at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.

In London he made history by becoming the first double-amputee to run in the Olympics, making the semi-final of the 400m.

Nike was recently forced to end its long relationship with Lance Armstrong, who has been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and finally admitted to doping after years of denial.

It recently signed up Northern Irish golfer Rory McIlroy as a new brand ambassador, making him one of the highest paid sports stars in the world.

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