Kenyan police yesterday charged world 3,000 meters steeplechase champion and Olympic medal hopeful Ezekiel Kemboi with assault after a failed car jacking left a woman stabbed, according to Yahoo! News.
Kemboi, who is also a police officer, told police that he was the victim of an attempted car jacking and the woman who was stabbed, Anne Njeri, was in fact part of the gang that had tried to rob him.
“Kemboi said they pounced on him, demanding money, and when they were told he had no money, one of them suddenly pulled out a sharp object trying to stab him,” said local police official Charles Jamanda.
Despite his claims, Kemboi was charged with assault and causing bodily harm.
The world-class runner turned himself in to law enforcement in his hometown of Eldoret, Kenya, and was released after posting bond. The court respected his wish to have his hearing postponed until after the London Olympics, giving the sprinter time to focus for the games.
“I am innocent of the charges,” Kemboi told the court. “I am already in the team for the London Olympic Games. I would like your honour to give me time to take part in the competition.
Eldoret in Kenya’s Rift Valley is known around the world for producing some of the East African nation’s finest running talent. At his hearing, other top athletes from the Kenyan Olympic team formed a human shield in the courtroom to bar photographers from taking Kemboi’s picture.