Nike has pulled an ad which said "I am the bullet in the chamber" from Olympian Oscar Pistorius' official website after his arrest over shooting death of his girlfriend.
The incident is the latest in a series of high-profile scandals to rock sport, at a time when many brands are reviewing their sponsorship budgets.
Telstra has already admitted it may pull support after an Australian Crime Commission report found evidence of widespread doping and involvement of organized crime across several codes.
The ‘Blade Runner’, 26, who competed inlast year's Olympic and Paralympic Games in London, was arrested yesterday and charged with murdering his model girlfriend at his home.
Figures from the last Olympic Games show Pistorius had endorsements worth around US$2m, placing him ninth on the list of Olympians ahead of British heroes Jessica Ennis and Sir Chris Hoy.
Pistorius’ sponsors include Oakley, Thierry Mugler and British Telecom, who used him as a poster boy for the Games, as well as sportswear brand Nike, which has suffered a number of scandals involving its athletes in recent years.
Lance Armstrong’s doping case is their most recent high-profile disgrace, although sprinter Marion Jones, who was jailed for her part in the Balco scandal was another drugs cheat on their books who they initially stood by.
However, when 2004 Olympic 100m champion Justin Gatlin, tested positive for testosterone they suspended then terminated his contract.
But, they made the decision to back long -term endorsee, golfer Tiger Woods, when it emerged he had been having a string of extra-marital liaisons, a strategy which has proved to have worked, with the rehabilitated player still proving the main draw card on the professional golfing circuit.
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