Johannesburg - Nike has suspended payments to and its contract with paralympian Oscar Pistorius, who is charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, the sportswear company said on Thursday.

“Nike has suspended its contract with Oscar Pistorius,” Nike SA communications manager Seruscka Naidoo said in a statement.

In follow-up questions she said: “We have suspended, not terminated his contract, and believe Oscar Pistorius should be afforded due process.”

There were no current campaigns featuring him, she said.

After the shooting, the company, famous for its “Swoosh” logo, hastily pulled an advertisement, featuring Pistorius, with the line: “I am the bullet in the chamber”.

Pistorius is the latest celebrity athlete from whom sponsors have distanced themselves after controversy Ä among them cyclist Lance Armstrong, after he admitted to doping.

Nike made a cautious announcement a few days ago, when Associated Press reported that Nike had no plans to use Pistorius in future campaigns.

On Wednesday, Pistorius was also dropped from an advertising campaign for French cosmetics company Clarins.

“Out of respect and compassion for the families implicated in this tragedy, Thierry Mugler Perfumes has taken the decision to withdraw all its campaigns with Oscar Pistorius,” the group said.

Clarins SA spokeswoman Jody Hyam confirmed this.

Pistorius had been the ambassador of Mugler A* Men Fragrance since 2011.

His bail application is being held in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court.

Sunglasses company Oakley is among the companies which have distanced themselves from him since he was charged.

M-Net Movies also pulled its “Every night is Oscar night” campaign “out of respect and sympathy to the bereaved”.

Pistorius has earned millions of dollars in endorsements. - Sapa