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Originally published Monday, February 18, 2013 at 7:20 PM

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Family of Oscar Pistorius' slain girlfriend seeks answers | Track and field

The family of Oscar Pistorius' slain girlfriend wants answers, her mother told a Johannesburg newspaper, as South Africans braced to hear why prosecutors believe a national hero murdered the model.

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Track and field

Family of Pistorius' slain

girlfriend seeks answers

The family of Oscar Pistorius' slain girlfriend wants answers, her mother told a Johannesburg newspaper, as South Africans braced to hear why prosecutors believe a national hero murdered the model who was shot multiple times.

June Steenkamp, Reeva Steenkamp's mother, told The Times of Johannesburg in a front-page interview published Monday: "Why? Why my little girl? Why did this happen? Why did he do this?

"Just like that, she is gone. In the blink of an eye and a single breath, the most beautiful person who ever lived is no longer here."

Pistorius, who remains in custody in a police station in Pretoria, is set to return to court Tuesday for the start of his bail hearing. It will be the first opportunity for the prosecution to describe evidence police gathered against the 26-year-old double-amputee Olympic runner — who competes while wearing high-tech prosthetics — and the reasons why he was charged with murder. Prosecutors allege the killing was premeditated.

Pistorius' family denies he committed murder, though it has not addressed whether he shot the 29-year-old Steenkamp.

Two major sponsors, eyewear maker Oakley and shoe/apparel giant Nike, distanced themselves from Pistorius on Monday. Oakley suspended its contract with Pistorius and Nike said it has no plans to use him in upcoming campaigns.

College athletics

NCAA makes changes in staff

after Miami investigation

NCAA President Mark Emmert announced Julie Roe Lach, vice president of enforcement, is leaving and will soon be replaced by private attorney Jonathan Duncan after her role in the botched investigation at Miami.

After releasing a 55-page report detailing how the NCAA violated its own practices and policies by paying the attorney for convicted Ponzi-schemer Nevin Shapiro thousands of dollars to help with the Miami case, Emmert spent more than an hour trying to do damage control.

Emmert, previously president at the University of Washington, said, "I think the damage is, first of all, for those people who were already skeptical or cynics, this feeds into their cynicism."

Then-NCAA investigator Ameen Najjar appeared to manipulate the process by hiring Maria Elena Perez, Shapiro's attorney, to help the NCAA obtain information from a bankruptcy proceeding — information that would have otherwise been unavailable. Shapiro has said he provided improper benefits to dozens of football and basketball players at Miami.

Calling the NCAA's investigation "unprofessional and unethical," Miami President Donna Shalala insisted the probe of the Hurricanes not only come to a swift end but result in no penalties against her school other than self-imposed ones.

NFL

Chiefs sign former WSU safety

Kansas City signed ex-Minnesota Vikings safety Husain Abdullah, 27, who gave up football last season to make a pilgrimage to Mecca.

A practicing Muslim, ex-Washington State standout Abdullah turned down a contract offer from Minnesota last year in order to speak at mosques along with his brother, ex-Arizona Cardinals defensive back Hamza Abdullah. Hamza Abdullah, 29, also played at WSU.

Packers release center Saturday

The Green Bay Packers released center Jeff Saturday, a former Indianapolis Colts player who was selected to the Pro Bowl six times in 14 seasons. Saturday, 37, signed a two-year deal with the Packers in March.

Olympics

IOC inspectors visit Brazil

International Olympic Committee inspectors are making their first visit to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, since telling 2016 Games organizers in December preparations need to be speeded.

The IOC's coordination commission began its fourth visit to Rio on Monday to meet with local organizers and monitor the progress made at venues and infrastructure sites for the first Olympics in South America.

Elsewhere

• Golfer Ryan Moore of Puyallup is seeded 40th in the 64-player Accenture Match Play Championship, which starts Wednesday at Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz. Moore faces No. 25 Jim Furyk in the first round.

Top-seeded Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland opens against Shane Lowry of Ireland. In a first-round matchup of Americans, second-seeded Tiger Woods meets No. 63 Charles Howell III.

Manti Te'o told USA Today he doesn't believe the online hoax that fooled him will affect his stock in this year's NFL draft. The former Notre Dame linebacker also said he has shut down his Twitter account and isn't sure if he will ever use social media again.

Te'o has been fairly quiet since he acknowledged falling in love with a nonexistent woman invented by another man who insists the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy was unaware of the scam during the online relationship.

Te'o has been preparing for the NFL combine, which begins Wednesday in Indianapolis.

"I have to just go out there and perform and all that other stuff is behind me," he said.

• Manchester United reached the English FA Cup quarterfinals after Nani and Javier Hernandez scored in a three-minute span in the second half to break down visiting Reading's stubborn defense and secure a 2-1 victory.

United striker Wayne Rooney missed the match because of an illness. Man U will face either Chelsea or Middlesbrough in the quarterfinals.

Super Ninety Nine splashed to an 11 ¼-length victory over Fear the Kitten in the $300,000 Southwest Stakes for 3-year-olds at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark.

Super Ninety Nine, trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Rafael Bejarano, ran 1-1/16 miles on a sloppy, sealed track surface in 1 minute, 44.84 seconds. The Northwest Farms-bred colt paid $4 to win in the Grade III race.

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