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Agent: Olympic champion's death 'not suicide'

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Olympic champion's death 'not suicide'
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Kenya's Olympic marathon champion Sammy Wanjiru dies after fall from his balcony
  • Wanjiru's agent tells CNN that his death was "not suicide"
  • Federico Rosa says Wanjiru was "very relaxed and happy" when he last spoke with him
  • Wanjiru was preparing to defend his marathon title in London 2012

(CNN) -- The agent of Olympic marathon champion Sammy Wanjiru, who died after falling from a balcony at his Kenyan home, has categorically rejected claims that he took his own life.

Italian Federico Rosa told CNN Monday that his client was "very relaxed and happy" when he spoke with him over the weekend before the tragedy unfolded.

Police in Nyahururu are investigating the incident which happened late Sunday night, with conflicting reports over whether Wanjiru jumped or fell accidentally from his second floor balcony.

Rosa said he was in "shock" over the incident, which has deprived athletics of one its most prominent stars.

"We don't know all the circumstances," he told CNN.

His death is a tragedy, but I am 100 per cent sure it's not suicide
--Federico Rosa
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"His death is a tragedy, but I am 100 per cent sure it's not suicide," he added.

Police investigate Wanjiru's death

A senior police official in Nyahururu told CNN earlier Monday that Wanjiru jumped from the balcony after his wife caught him in the company of another woman.

Wanjiru's wife, Tereza Njeri, and another woman were taken to the police station to give statements but were not considered suspects, Jasper Ompati said.

Rosa said that he had met Wanjiru and his wife 10 days ago and "everything was quite normal."

But in December 2010, Wanjiru was charged with making death threats against his wife and illegally possessing an AK47 rifle.

At the time, prosecutors alleged Wanjiru was drunk when he made the threats.

Wanjiru denied the charges, which were later dropped, though he still faced a weapons charge and was due in court next Monday in Nyahururu.

Wanjiru was catapulted to stardom when he became Kenya's first Olympic marathon champion at the Beijing Games in 2008, aged just 21.

He went on to dominate the distance over the preceding two years as he was crowned men's champion in the 2009 and 2010 world marathon majors series.

An automobile accident in Kenya in January led to Wanjiru pulling out of this year's London marathon, but he was a favorite to defend his Olympic title in the British capital in 2012.

"The world has lost it's greatest runner," said Rosa.

"He's left a gap that will be hard to fill," said David Okeyo, the secretary-general of Athletics Kenya.