It’s another light day in the news, but there are some interesting articles to read. Today starts with a little catch-up on my end by discussing highlights of Oscar Pistorius’ trial yesterday, as well as reporting on what happened in court today. Yesterday, Dr. Johan Stipp, the doctor who arrived on the scene the night Reeva Steenkamp died. He testified that he “heard gunshots” during the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2013. After ensuring it was safe, Dr. Stipp went to the house. Dr. Stipp found Pistorius kneeling by Steenkamp’s body. Pistorius was crying, and “was praying to God [saying] ‘Please let her live.'” Dr. Stipp tried to revive the decent’s body, but it was too late. Moreover, Dr. Stipp said “he could see Ms Steenkamp’s brain tissue in her hair” at the scene. Dr. Stipp also testified that the bathroom light was on, and that he “[saw] a figure moving from right to left as a woman screamed” in the window of Pistorius’ bathroom. In court, reporters noted how upset Pistorius in hearing the doctor’s testimony – to the point where Pistorius looked as though he might vomit.
Today’s phase of the trial featured ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor. Taylor testified that Pistorius cheated on her twice. The second time he cheated was with decent Steenkamp. There are some questions on whether the relationship ended during Pistorius’ unfaithfulness, but that was not the most damaging testimony. The crux of Taylor’s testimony came in when she testified that he fired a gun out of the sunroof of her car during a stop the police initiated on them due to Pistorius’ excessive speed. She rubbed salt in the wound when she said that he ” laughed around the time he actually fired the gun,” and that he kept the gun around him “all the time.” Her description of him was “as a man who could get very angry.” While the prosecution intended for Taylor’s testimony to give weight to the lesser firearm charge, the article notes that her testimony also supplements the murder charge because it portrays Pistorius as “an angry, reckless gun owner.” Taylor’s testimony concluded with the prosecution questioning Taylor about other incidents where Pistorius thought that intruders may have breached the premises. She testified that it has happened “at least twice,” but that “he always woke her up before taking his gun with him to check.”
Dr. Paul Wright, an anti-doping officer who has worked in the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) since 2005, was fired last November, his dismissal recently made public. Dr. Wright left the position with more than 30 years of experience in the anti-doping field, and his dismissal was made without any insightful comment. The reasoning was simply, “we’re restructuring.” The article suggests that the recent bout of failed drug tests (presumably by some of the country’s top athletes, including Asafa Powell, Veronica Campbell-Brown – cleared – and Sherone Simpson) may have provoked officials to remove Dr. Wright from his post. Wright’s public criticism of Jamaica’s infrequent testing procedures led the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to conduct an “emergency audit of Jamaica’s drug testing procedures” – a whistle-blowing tactic that may also explain Dr. Wright’s forced leave. JADCO cleaned house by removing everyone from their executive management positions and bringing in a new Board of Directors as part of its restructuring process. Additionally, JADCO announced that it will partner with the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) and WADA in its goal to enhance JADCO’s program.
In Boston, the BAA appears to explain why it cannot allow groups such as ruck marchers to participate in the Boston Marathon this year. The gist of the article is that due to the high interest in participation in the marathon, the BAA responded by allowing 9,000 more runners to participate in the marathon. BAA reasoned that it is too difficult to allow 36,000 runners and ruck marchers all to participate. If you recall the article from earlier this week which discussed Boston’s new security policy, you’ll remember that the number of interested persons wanting to become a ruck marcher experienced a substantial increase in participants. While the article notes that BAA has been flexible in the past (in allowing military persons to march), their flexibility is currently constrained by the high number of participants. Fortunately, BAA did establish a partnership with the National Guard of Massachusetts. BAA agreed to provide soldiers with 130 bibs. Like other participants, they must register to run the marathon. However, the soldier-participants will begin their march promptly at 6am.
Finally, if you want to keep up with the Indoor World Championships, click here. Flotrack does a superb job of posting everything you want to know about the event – meet schedule, results, interviews, highlights and disappointments, etc. (but if you’re trying to catch it on TV over the weekend, you may not want to look).