The 34-year-old failed to make the Olympic final last year and has been conspicuous by his low profile since then, in contrast to his public falling-out with former GB head coach Charles van Commenee.
Despite not being selected for Great Britain at last month’s European Team Championships in Gateshead, Idowu was expected to compete at this weekend’s World Championship trials in Birmingham.
However, Idowu yesterday released a statement saying: “After some careful consideration I have decided that for the foreseeable future I will be taking a step back from athletics.
“I feel this is the right time for me to make this decision and it’s not a choice I’ve made lightly. I greatly appreciate all of the support I have received over the past years, particularly from the British public and my team and sponsors; it has been an extremely happy, successful time.
“I’m excited about pursuing other interests and taking other opportunities that present themselves to me during this break.”
The former world, European and Commonwealth title holder jumped 16.44 metres at the Diamond League meeting in Rome last month, but that sort of performance would not even have earned selection for Moscow given the A standard is 17.20m.