Oscar Pistorius Trial: Lawyers Claim Testosterone Found at Athlete’s Home is ‘Herbal Remedy’

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By Ewan Palmer | February 21, 2013 2:28 AM EST

Oscar Pistorius stands in the dock during a break in court proceedings at the Pretoria Magistrate's Court (Reuters)

Lawyers for Oscar Pistorius have dismissed claims from police that they found boxes of testosterone at his home, insisting the substances were merely a "herbal remedy".

On the second day of the bail hearing for the 26-year-old athlete, who is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, investigating officer Hilton Botha told the court two boxes of testosterone and needles were found at his home during the investigation.

However, in a subsequent cross-examination, defence lawyer Barry Roux dismissed the claim and said the drugs were legal.

Roux said: "It is not a steroid and it is not a banned substance."

Addressing a rapt audience at Pretoria Magistrate's Court, Roux claimed police have taken "every piece of evidence [to] try to extract the most possibly negative connotation and present it to the court."

Shortly after the claim of illegal substances was made, an International Paralympic Committee spokesman said Pistorius was drug tested twice in London last year by the IPC and both test results came back negative.

One of the tests conducted on 25 August was an out-of-competition test, and the second on 8 September was during competition, a day before the end of the London Paralympics.

Pistorius, who made history last year by becoming the first double-amputee to run in the Olympics, is accused of the premeditated murder of Steenkamp on 14 February.

The court had previously heard that there was "non-stop shouting" between 2 and 3am on the morning the model was shot.

Botha - the first officer to arrive on the scene - said one witness had testified to hearing screams and gunshots from the house.

He told the court: "We have statement of a person who said after he heard gunshots, he went to his balcony and saw the light was on. Then he heard a female screaming two-three times, then more gunshots."

Botha also recommended Pisotrius not be granted bail because he is a considered a "flight risk". 

The court heard how Steenkamp had been three times - in the head, arm, and hip - on the right hand side of the body. Botha claimed her injuries suggest the she had been "hiding" in the toilet of Pistorius's home when she was shot.

Botha added that the trajectory of the bullets showed the gun was fired downwards from a height. This appears to contradict the statement given by Pistorius yesterday, in which the athlete - who wears carbon fibre prosthetic blades to race - claimed he was on his stumps and "feeling vulnerable" when he opened fire.

Pistorius denies the premeditated murder of Steenkamp, saying he thought his girlfriend was an intruder on the night she was killed.

A full trial against Pistorius is not expected for months.

Botha also said Pistorius will now also be charged with possession of unlicensed ammunition after .38 Special rounds were found in his bedroom safe. Pistorius only had a licence for a 9mm pistol.

The bail hearing continues tomorrow.

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