By Nick Butler

Nike have confirmed they will no longer sponsor Oscar Pistorius ©Getty ImagesNike has terminated its endorsement contract with Oscar Pistorius following the double amputee sprinter being found guilty of culpable homicide.

The United States sportswear giant suspended its lucrative, long-term sponsorship of the South African shortly after it emerged he had shot dead girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after mistaking her for a intruder, he claimed, in their Pretoria home on Valentine's Day last year.

This meant they would stop using and paying him pending the outcome of the trial.

Last week, the six-time Paralympic champion was cleared of premeditated murder but found guilty of culpable homicide, which carries a punishment of anything from a fine to a maximum of 15 years in prison, with a sentence due next month.

Nike spokesman KeJuan Wilkins has now confirmed to that the sponsorship has been terminated.

Nike's decision follows the culpable homicide verdict last week ©AFP/Getty ImagesNike's decision follows the culpable homicide verdict last week ©AFP/Getty Images

Pistorius, one of the best known Paralympians in history who also competed at the London 2012 Olympic Games as an able-bodied athlete, enjoyed many other lucrative sponsorship deals in addition to the one with Nike.

In total, these were thought to be worth as much as $2 million annually (£1.2 million/€1.5 million).

South African broadcaster M-Net was the first to react on the day of Steenkamp's death, taking down billboards featuring Pistorius' face and, soon afterwards, Oakley cancelled its contract.

Others, including telecommunications services company British Telecom (BT) as well as Nike, opted against making an immediate decision.

A spokesman from BT has confirmed to insidethegames this afternoon that its contract with the athlete ended naturally at the end of 2013.

Oscar Pistorius has also spent a vast amount of the money he earned during his athletics career on legal fees ©Getty ImagesOscar Pistorius has also spent a vast amount of the money he earned during his athletics career on legal fees ©Getty Images

As well as for Pistorius, the cancellation of the deal must also be a blow to Nike, which will spend about $1 billion (£600 million/€750 million) on athlete marketing alone in 2014, after it was also forced to terminate the contract of American football star Ray Rice earlier this month.

The former Baltimore Ravens running back was suspended indefinitely by the National Football League after a video leaked of him assaulting his then-fiancé, now wife, inside an Atlantic City casino elevator.

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong and another American football player, Michael Vick, are among other Nike-sponsored athletes to have their contracts terminated, although Vick, who was implicated in an illegal interstate dog fighting ring in 2007, was eventually re-signed.

In 2009, the company stood by Tiger Woods after it emerged the 14-time Major winner had been involved in numerous extra-marital affairs. 

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