by Christopher Freeburn | February 21, 2013 11:48 am
Charges that a popular South African athlete murdered his model girlfriend has promoted Nike (NYSE:NKE) to suspend its contract with the track star.
Oscar Pistorius, who gained worldwide fame as the first double-amputee to compete in Olympic track events, was arrested for shooting Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day at his home in South Africa. He is currently facing charges of premeditated murder, ABC News notes.
Though Pistorius has denied the charges, insisting that he shot Steenkamp because he erroneously thought she was a burglar, Nike is distancing itself from the runner. In a statement, the sportswear company said it would monitor the ongoing legal proceedings.
Nike isn’t the only company backing away from Pistorius. Oakley, a maker of eye-wear, suspended its endorsement deal with the athlete earlier this week.
Last year, Nike ended its endorsement arrangement with Lance Armstrong after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released a detailed report accusing the seven-time Tour de France winner of using performance-enhancing drugs during his career, despite years of denials.
Shares of Nike rose more than 1% Thursday morning trading.
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