Johannesburg: Paralympic sprint champion Oscar Pistorius is in deep mourning after the death of his girlfriend on Valentine's Day, but is "certainly not suicidal" his family said on Monday.

"Oscar believes he has a purpose in life and is working towards that. Media reports to the contrary are untrue," said his uncle Arnold Pistorius. The 26-year-old double amputee was earlier said by a friend to be "on the verge of suicide" as he fights a charge of premeditated murder for shooting dead Reeva Steenkamp at his Pretoria home.

According to a close friend, the sprinter's state of mind had worsened since he was tasked with selling his racehorses to raise money to pay for his spiraling legal fees.

"I would say that, just speaking to him, that he is a broken man and that I would go as far to say that he would be on the verge of suicide. It really worries me," the friend Mike Azzie told an upcoming BBC3 documentary.

In a statement, the Pistorius family said it did not deny that "Oscar's legal expenses are massive and that he has sold off some of his investments, including his racehorses". But it said that the costs will be evaluated on "a day-to-day basis" and decisions then made.

Earlier, a family spokesman said Pistorius was planning to sell the luxury home in a gated community where he shot Steenkamp through a locked bathroom door on Valentine's Day. "He has signalled his intention to sell (the house), but nothing has been done pro-actively to start the process," family spokesman Johan van Wyk said. The 26-year-old is out on bail and last week lodged a notice of appeal against his release conditions before he returns to court in June.


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