Police pursue steroids theory in Oscar case
Boxes of drugs seized from a bedside drawer in the home of Olympian Oscar Pistorius are the subject of a barrage of laboratory tests.
Blood and urine samples taken from the Blade Runner the day he shot his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, are also being tested.
The aim: to show whether the sportsman was either in the possession of or on steroids at the time of the killing.
Asked about the reported discovery of drugs, Pistorius's lawyer Kenny Oldwadge said last night: "I am not going to comment on that.
''The allegation has not been levelled against us or specifically put to us so I am not going to comment on it.''
Unconfirmed reports suggest Pistorius, when questioned by police about the drugs, claimed he had been keeping them for someone. It is not known whether the identity of this person is known.
Steroid sales are strictly controlled by law, with the drugs usually obtainable only through a doctor's prescription, and then for a limited time only because of their severe side-effects.
The University of the Free State is conducting the tests on the drugs, blood and urine without cost and as a matter of urgency.
The drugs have also been sent for testing by the police forensics science laboratory, and pharmacists have been called on to ascertain whether they are, in fact, steroids.
Today, Pistorius will appear in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court - for the start of his two-day bail hearing - and Steenkamp will be buried in a private funeral in Port Elizabeth.
Steenkamp was shot several times in Pistorius's R4-million home in a Pretoria estate in the early hours of February 14.
Pistorius has not yet pleaded but has reportedly said he shot her by mistake, thinking she was an intruder.
The bathroom door, removed from the house because it is key to the state's case, was yesterday examined by a ballistics expert for the athlete's defence team.
While neither police nor Pistorius's legal team would yesterday comment on the suspected steroids, police sources said the drugs and several syringes, all still sealed, were found in a bedroom in the luxury Silver Woods Country Estate home of Pistorius.
A senior police officer told The Times they were found in a drawer in a bedroom.
"The drugs and syringes were found shortly after the house was sealed off . crime scene investigators were searching a room linked to the crime when they found them .
"Along with the drugs and syringes, officers seized the victim's iPad and cellphones. They are being analysed by computer data experts, who have retrieved important information, including SMSes and social-media site messages, which are potential keys in establishing the motive," he said.
Another officer said investigators had retrieved evidence of sexual activity from Pistorius's bedroom. "They are being analysed for DNA to determine who they belong to and whether they originate from the night of the killing.
"This, along with the estate's CCTV footage showing Steenkamp's arrival and telephone calls to the estate's security guards, will be part of the state's case," said the policeman. Of concern to investigators was that Pistorius's car, which had been parked in his driveway that night, had not been examined, he said. "The keys were apparently in the ignition, but no reason could be given as to why they were not removed or why it was left standing there and not parked in one of the three garages. The car has been given back to the family so any potential forensic [evidence] could be lost."
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Katlego Mogale declined to comment: "I will not speak . the investigation is sensitive . we will issue a statement after the bail application."
MATTER OF FACT
OSCAR Pistorius's lawyer, Kenny Oldwadge, has objected to being quoted out of context in The Times yesterday. Oldwadge said the quotation ''... it is just a murder charge he is facing'' made him appear insensitive to the death of Reeva Steenkamp.
''What I said in reference to questions on what charges Pistorius was facing in terms of murder was taken out of context suggesting complete insensitivity on my behalf. I was commenting that Pistorius was facing no other charges besides the potential murder charge at the time.''