He wrestled with alcohol addiction and fought often with his wife.
Before he died last Sunday, Olympic gold medalist Sammy Wanjiru’s actions were something more resembling a rock star than a world-class marathoner.
He boozed and wenched; he began hanging out with people of dubious character.
At 21, Wanjiru was the youngest Olympic marathon champion. When he won his gold, he set a new Olympic record by more than three minutes on a day with hardly ideal conditions.
But with fame and fortune came problems for Wanjiru.
According to his manager, Frederico Rosa, Wanjiru had his house broken into twice by armed bandits. Apparently, Wanjiru armed himself after those incidents, purchasing an AK-47 assault rifle.
Then last December, Wanjiru allegedly threatened to kill his wife and used this newly acquired weapon to strike his security guard.The two victims filed charges, but subsequently dropped them.
However, the arguments and domestic disturbances continued. He fought frequently with his wife, Triza Njeri. She accused him of consorting with other women.
For More: The Chicago Tribune