Kipchoge Keino is set to become a state witness after charges were dropped against the official ©Getty Images

Kipchoge Keino is set to become a state witness after corruption charges against the legendary Kenyan athlete were dropped.

The 78-year-old double Olympic gold medallist was one of seven men accused of misappropriating public funds during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji had approved charges against Keino in connection with the loss of KES55 million (£416,000/$545,000/€474,000).

Keino, who served as the former chairman of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK), was also expected to be charged with abuse of office and willful failure to comply with laws relating to public funds management.

It later emerged that charges were set to be dropped after Keino was questioned for more than six hours last month at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters.

It was discovered that Keino, an honorary International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, was never a signatory to any account and neither did he receive any money.

His lawyer has now claimed all charges have officially been dropped, with Keino now set to be a witness for the prosecution.

"The new charge says that Keino is no longer an accused person," lawyer Cecil Miller told Agence France-Presse.

"He has been converted to a prosecution witness.

"It is a big relief to us all."

There had been pressure from Rift Valley politicians and other influential figures to force Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and stop Keino from facing charges.

It is also believed that the IOC had made representations on Keino's behalf.

Keino was honoured during the Opening Ceremony of Rio 2016 when he was awarded the first-ever Laurel Award.

He received the prize, to "honour an outstanding individual for their achievements in education, culture, development and peace through sport", from IOC President Thomas Bach.

The Games have led to the ongoing case in Kenya, with allegations of a misuse of funds from officials leading to charges against key officials.

Charges remain for several key officials involved in the case ©Twitter/ODPP_KE
Charges remain for several key officials involved in the case ©Twitter/ODPP_KE

This includes Kenya's former sports cabinet secretary Hassan Wario.

Wario, who is Kenya's Ambassador to Austria, was last month charged with six counts of abuse of office.

He pleaded not guilty to all of them.

Others facing charges are Kenya's Director of Administration Harun Komen and Patrick Kimathi, the former finance officer at the country's Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts.

NOCK secretary general Francis Paul Kanyili, Rio 2016 Chef de Mission Stephen Kiptanui arap Soi and former sports principal secretary Richard Ekai also appeared in court last month.

All six men have been released on bail of KES1 million (£7,500/$10,000/€8,750).

Detectives have long been seeking to establish whether there is evidence that the officials either misused or stole money allocated to the Kenyan team that travelled to Brazil two years ago.

It follows the country's Olympic Games Probe Committee revealing that the Sports Ministry had signed a ticketing deal with a Kenyan-based travel agency to offer tickets at a higher price than usual.

Among the other allegations are purchasing of air tickets which were not utilised amounting to KES16.9 million (£128,000/$168,000/€145,000), overpaying allowances amounting to KES15.9 million (£120,000/$158,000/€137,000) and incurring expenditure on unauthorised persons amounting to KES6.6 million (£50,000/$65,000/€57,000).