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Nike says Oscar Pistorius won't feature in future ads

Nike said it would not use South African athlete Oscar Pistorius in future advertising campaigns after he was charged with murdering his girlfriend.

Clone of Oscar pistorius blade runner london 2012Enlarge
Oscar Pistorius of South Africa wins the men's 200m at the Paralympic World Cup on May 22, 2012, in Manchester, England. (Michael Steele/AFP/Getty Images)

Nike had no plans to use South African sports star Oscar Pistorius in future advertising campaigns after the Olympic and Paralympic athlete was charged with murdering his girlfriend, the Associated Press reported.

A spokesman for the sportswear company confirmed the plans to AP on Monday.

A Nike Internet ad featuring Pistorius with the caption “I am the bullet in the chamber” has already been pulled, the AP said.

“Nike has no plans for Oscar Pistorius in upcoming campaigns,” KeJuan Wilkins told Reuters.

Pistorius has been charged with murdering his 29-year-old model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in the early hours of Valentine's Day. 

The body of Steenkamp will be cremated on Tuesday in a private ceremony in her hometown of Port Elizabeth, the same day Pistorius is due to appear at a bail hearing.

Pistorius denies intentionally killing his girlfriend, claiming he mistook her for an intruder.

More from GlobalPost: Pistorius shooting highlights South Africa’s crime problem

Pistorius is the latest celebrity to cause publicity headaches for Nike.

According to Reuters, the others include: NFL quarterback Michael Vick, Olympic runner Marion Jones, golfer Tiger Woods and cyclist Lance Armstrong.

So far, existing sponsors and partners are standing by the double-amputee athlete, according to Peet Van Zyl, Pistorius’s manager.

“They have said they are happy to let the legal process takes its course before making any change in their position," Van Zyl said in a statement on Sunday.

Pistorius has, however, put his track and field career on hold.

Van Zyl said the athlete has canceled scheduled appears for the next three months in Australia, Brazil, US and UK to “concentrate on the upcoming legal proceedings.”

More from GlobalPost: Pistorius fired gun in Johannesburg restaurant in January

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/south-africa/130218/pistorius-nike-ads