Beijing - Chinese Olympic 110m hurdles gold medallist and former world record holder Liu Xiang has announced his retirement on his blog on Tuesday, saying he had given up on recovering from his injuries.
"I am ... officially retiring. This is a final decision, which is painful to make but I have no choice," Liu wrote in a microblog post on the Chinese Weibo platform.
Liu's announcement ended years of speculation. The 31-year-old had not competed since he pulled out of the 100m hurdles race at the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
"After the 2012 London Olympics I took Achilles tendon reconstruction operation. In the past two years I persisted in my rehabilitation training and dreamed about starting again," Liu wrote.
"But my feet said no. It couldn't endure high intensity training and competition. I hate my feet and I love running but I caused my own injury and I have to accept it. Today I decide to give up, to leave. I want a new life."
If Liu had returned to competition he would have managed to run the 110m race in 13.50 seconds, which would not have guaranteed qualification for top races, the official Xinhua news agency cited Liu's team doctor as saying.
Liu had become China's first male Olympic champion in track and field when he won the 110m hurdles at the 2004 Games in Athens, equalling Briton Colin Jackson's world record of 12.91 seconds.
Liu bettered the world record to 12.88 seconds at a competition in Lausanne, Switzerland in July 2006, solidifying his reputation as a superstar in China.
But at the 2008 Beijing Games, Liu limped off in a first-round heat with an aggravated Achilles tendon injury following another runner's false start.