NAIROBI, Kenya, March 28- Olympic champion Samuel Wanjiru has sensationally withdrawn from next month’s London Marathon citing a troublesome knee injury.
The withdrawal of Wanjiru who dropped out of the same race last year was confirmed by his manager, Federico Rosa, who also disclosed the 2008 winner and stable mate, Martin Lel, would take his place in the April 18 World Marathon Majors race.
“We expect organisers to release a statement soon about the unfortunate withdrawal. Wanjiru’s troublesome knee that affected him last year has flared up again,” Rosa said.
The news that broke on Monday is the latest blow to strike the 2008 Beijing Olympics marathon winner in a troublesome year that has seen him brought before court to answer charges of threatening to kill and possession of an illegal firearm.
Two counts of the former were withdrawn early March when his spouse, Teresiah Wairimu and watchman withdrew their charges but he still has a court date in May on the illegal weapons charge.
The cases stemmed from an incident on December 29 when it was claimed an inebriated Wanjiru threatened to kill the pair with an AK-47 assault rifle.
A few weeks later, the 2009 London Marathon champion and twice (2009 and 2010) Chicago Marathon winner was involved in a road accident while returning to his Nyahururu home from Nakuru where his SUV hit a pot hole and rolled.
The runner who shot to prominence after setting the world half marathon record twice in 2007 escaped with minor injuries.
Lel has won the London event thrice in 2005, 2007 and 2008 when he beat Wanjiru to the tape with his trademark sprint finish. The twice New York Marathon champion missed the last two editions of the race with injury.