Ezekiel Kemboi: Steeplechase Champ Has Trouble Ahead with Assault Charge Looming

Sam R. QuinnSenior Analyst IIIAugust 7, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05:  Gold medalist Ezekiel Kemboi of Kenya celebrates after winning the Men's 3000m Steeplechase Final on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 5, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
Phil Walter/Getty Images

Ezekiel Kemboi dominated the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2012 London Olympics, but he has a greater battle on his hands against the Kenyan legal system.

According to the Chicago Tribune's Justin Palmer, Kemboi is facing an assault charge in his home country of Kenya:

Flamboyant twice world champion Kemboi, who veered across the track with one arm raised in celebration in the final meters, was accused in June of stabbing a woman in Kenya, with the incident remaining unresolved coming into the Games.

While winning his second gold medal in three Olympic Games may have provided a short respite to his real-life woes, the time for Kemboi to deal with the charge is rapidly approaching.

Edwin Cheserek of the Kenyan media outlet Standard Media shed light on the details of the assault.

Allegedly, Kemboi met Anne Njeri when the two were at a club watching a soccer game. Cheserek's report states that Kemboi offered to drop the woman off at her home, and the two were seen leaving the club together. Before heading back toward Njeri's home, they stopped at a fast food restaurant at her request.

According to Cheserek, Njeri alleges that Kemboi "parked the car and locked the doors" when they reached the entrance of her gated community and asked her to have sex with him. When she refused, the two reportedly "started fighting in the car before he opened the door," at which point she jumped out.

However, she had to return to retrieve her forgotten purse, and it was during their second encounter that Njeri accuses Kemboi of stabbing her in the chest.

If that is indeed true, Kemboi, a police officer in his home country, is going to have some serious explaining to do in a court of law. It is going to be hard for a judge and jury to rule on this issue, as the lack of an eyewitness will make matters nearly impossible.

There are two sides to every story, though, and Kemboi claims that Njeri's allegations are far from factual.

Per Cheserek's Standard Media report, Kemboi gave his own account of what transpired:

He claimed Njeri conspired with two men to rob him.

"The attackers, who she had met when she went to a fast food hotel, called me by name. They ordered me to give them money and a scuffle ensued before one of them attempted to stab me."

The assailants, according to Kemboi, missed him and stabbed Njeri before they took off.

Those two stories are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum.

It could be a case of a citizen trying to take advantage of a high-profile athlete, or it could be a high-profile athlete using the combination of his reputation and his status as an officer of the law as a means to avoid persecution.

Somebody is lying. There is no other explanation for there being two essentially opposite stories.

Kemboi was dancing after crossing the finish line first, but he'll definitely carry himself in a more serious manner while dealing with these charges.