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'Muscle recovery' substance found in Pistorius's bedroom

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- The substance found in Oscar Pistorius's bedroom after the shooting death of his girlfriend was identified by his representatives Wednesday as Testis compositum -- an herbal remedy they said is used for "muscle recovery." A product by that name also is sold as a sexual enhancer.

Testis compositum is marketed by some online retailers in both oral and injectable forms as a testosterone booster and sexual performance aid that contains the testicles, heart and embryo of pigs, among other ingredients. Some online retailers also say it can be used to treat fatigue.

At the Paralympian's bail hearing last week in the shooting death of Reeva Steenkamp, police said they found needles in Pistorius's bedroom along with the substance, which a detective initially named in court as testosterone. Prosecutors later withdrew that statement identifying the substance and said it had been sent for lab tests and couldn't be named until those tests were completed.

Pistorius spokeswoman Lunice Johnston said in an email to The Associated Press the athlete's lawyers had confirmed that the substance is Testis compositum.

In the email, Johnston wrote the product was being used "in aid of muscle recovery." She did not say whether the substance was the same as the product that is sold as a sex enhancer.

In court, Pistorius defence lawyer Barry Roux said the substance was not banned by sports authorities.

Pistorius, meanwhile, held a private memorial service Tuesday for Steenkamp.

"I can confirm the memorial service took place," Janine Hills, chief executive officer of Vuma Reputation Management, which is representing the athlete, said by phone Wednesday. "I cannot give any more detail or say who attended it."

The service, which was announced because of a "leak" to the media, was held at the home of his uncle, Arnold Pistorius, Vuma said Tuesday, requesting privacy. The Pistorius family was "devastated" following the reports of the service, Hills said.

 

-- The Associated Press with files from Bloomberg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 28, 2013 A13

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