Abebe Bikila 1960, 64& Feyisa Lilesa 2016


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Ethiopia distances itself from Aden, arrested for doping

Jama Aden has been arrested in Spain for doping. He coaches Ethiopian 1,500 metres world record holder Genzebe Dibaba. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia's governing body for athletics has sought to distance itself from Jama Aden, the coach of Ethiopian 1,500 metres world record holder Genzebe Dibaba, after his arrest in Spain on doping charges.
The Somali trainer was detained by police this week following months ofinvestigations prompted by a tip-off from the Spanish Agency of Health and Sport (AEPSAD).
The 25 year-old Genzebe - sister of triple Olympic distance champion Tirunesh Dibaba and Olympic silver medallist Ejegayehu Dibaba - is hot favourite to win the 1,500m at this year's Rio Olympics.
"While the individual trained an Ethiopian athlete, he neither has the endorsement nor any working arrangement with the (Ethiopian Athletics) Federation," the body said in a statement on Friday.
Ethiopia has come under scrutiny after the IAAF said it was one of five countries that were in "critical care" over their drug-testing systems.
The Horn of Africa country, which along with neighbour Kenya has for years dominated distance running on the track and the roads, subsequently announced that it would carry out doping tests on up to 200 athletes.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Ethiopia: Genzebe Dibaba’s coach arrested in doping raid

BARCELONA (HAN) June 20.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. The coach of World 1500m champion Genzebe Dibaba and other long-distance runners was arrested near Barcelona after Spanish police raided his hotel room and found traces of EPO and other banned substances on Monday.

Jama Aden, a Somalian, was detained along with one of his unnamed trainers from Morocco, as the IAAF tested 30 athletes who were also guests at the Sabadell hotel, about 25 kilometers from Barcelona, where the coach has established annual training camps since 2013.
Police confirmed Aden and his trainer were under arrest on charges of administering and distributing doping substances and endangering public health. After questioning by law enforcement, both detainees should face prosecution within 72 hours.
Local authorities did not expect further arrests to follow.
The athletes, including Dibaba, at the raided hotel were mainly from Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia or Djibouti.
Dibaba is a heavy favorite to win the Olympic women’s 1500m in Rio de Janeiro.
A simultaneous police raid in Madrid also yielded 16 arrests related to the trafficking of drugs and anabolic steroids.
Despite coinciding in time, law enforcement officers stressed there was no connection between the Sabadell operation and the bust in the Spanish capital, mainly linked to the bodybuilding underground market for steroid users.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Gebrselassie, other athletes protest at Ethiopia federation :: WRALSportsFan.com

 — Distance running great Haile Gebrselassie was part of a group of athletes who protested against the Ethiopian track federation on Tuesday.
The athletes were protesting the federation's selection process for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Gebrselassie was part of a group of more than 100 athletes who gathered outside the National Stadium in Addis Ababa.
Gebrselassie told The Associated Press that the federation was "marred with incompetency." He was protesting against, among other things, the exclusion of Kenenisa Bekele from the marathon team for the games.
Bekele, the 5,000 and 10,000 meters world-record holder, was also present. Both he and Gebrselassie addressed the athletes.
A number of other athletes have complained about their exclusion from Ethiopia's Olympic team, claiming that the selection process is unfair.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Muhammad Ali, boxing great and cultural symbol, dead at 74 | Reuters

Former world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, whose record-setting boxing career, flair for showmanship and political stands made him one of the best-known figures of the 20th century, died on Friday aged 74.

Ali, who had long suffered from Parkinson's syndrome which impaired his speech and made the once-graceful athlete almost a prisoner in his own body, died a day after he was admitted to a Phoenix-area hospital with a respiratory ailment.
Even so, Ali's youthful proclamation of himself as "the greatest" rang true until the end for the millions of people worldwide who admired him for his courage both inside and outside the ring.
Along with a fearsome reputation as a fighter, he spoke out against racism, war and religious intolerance, while projecting an unshakeable confidence and humor that became a model for African-Americans at the height of the civil rights era.
"Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest human beings I have ever met," said George Foreman, who lost to Ali in Zaire in a classic 1974 bout known as the "Rumble in Jungle."
"No doubt he was one of the best people to have lived in this day and age. To put him as a boxer is an injustice."
Ali enjoyed a popularity that transcended the world of sports, even though he rarely appeared in public in his later years.
"We lost an icon," said Delson Dez, 28, a construction worker, who was holding up a poster of the fighter in Scottsdale, Arizona soon after Ali's death was confirmed in a statement issued by his family late Friday evening.
"He talked trash but he backed it up," Dez said.
Few could argue with his athletic prowess at his peak in the 1960s. With his dancing feet and quick fists, he could - as he put it - float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. He was the first person to win the heavyweight championship three times.
But Ali became much more than a colorful and interesting athlete. He spoke boldly against racism in the '60s, as well as the Vietnam War.
During and after his championship reign, Ali met scores of world leaders and for a time he was considered the most recognizable person on earth, known even in remote villages far from the United States.
Ali's diagnosis of Parkinson's came about three years after he retired from boxing in 1981.
His influence extended far beyond boxing. He became the unofficial spokesman for millions of blacks and oppressed people around the world because of his refusal to compromise his opinions and stand up to white authorities.
"We lost a giant today. Boxing benefited from Muhammad Ali's talents but not nearly as much as mankind benefited from his humanity," said Manny Pacquiao, a boxer and politician in the Philippines, where Ali fought arch rival Joe Frazier for a third time in a brutal 1975 match dubbed the "Thrilla in Manila."
In a realm where athletes often battle inarticulateness as well as their opponents, Ali was known as the Louisville Lip and loved to talk, especially about himself.
"Humble people, I've found, don't get very far," he once told a reporter.
His taunts could be brutal. "Joe Frazier is so ugly that when he cries, the tears turn around and go down the back of his head," he once said. He also dubbed Frazier a 'gorilla' but later apologized and said it was all to promote the fight.
Once asked about his preferred legacy, Ali said: "I would like to be remembered as a man who won the heavyweight title three times, who was humorous and who treated everyone right. As a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him ... who stood up for his beliefs ... who tried to unite all humankind through faith and love.
"And if all that's too much, then I guess I'd settle for being remembered only as a great boxer who became a leader and a champion of his people. And I wouldn't even mind if folks forgot how pretty I was."
Ali was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on Jan. 17, 1942, as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., a name shared with a 19th century slavery abolitionist. He changed his name after his conversion to Islam.
Ali is survived by his wife, the former Lonnie Williams, who knew him when she was a child in Louisville, along with his nine children.
(Additional reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee and Frank McGurty in New York; Writing by Bill Trott and Frank McGurty; Editing by Paul Tait, Greg Mahlich)

Muhammad Ali poses with his boxing gloves. Action Images/Sporting Pictures

Ethiopia Team Doctor to AP: 5 Athletes Failed for Meldonium - The New York Times

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Five of the six Ethiopian athletes suspended and under investigation for doping by the country's authorities tested positive for the newly banned substance meldonium, the national track team doctor said on Friday.
Two of the six would have likely made Ethiopia's team for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro "if they were clean," Ayalew Tilahun told The Associated Press in an interview coinciding with a visit to the East African country by a delegation from the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Ayalew didn't give any names or say what substance the sixth athlete tested positive for.
Ayalew did say delays in making the cases public are related to the World Anti-Doping Agency's decision to obtain more scientific research on meldonium. Meldonium was banned from Jan. 1, but more research is needed to establish how long traces remain in the body. Athletes who have failed tests could have taken meldonium before it was put on WADA's banned list.
"So, we are just keeping these athletes under suspension and we won't take measures until we get a green light to do so from WADA and (the) IAAF," Ayalew said. "Both of these organizations have written to us four times, the last one a little bit more than a month ago, to wait for further notice as they are considering to revisit its (meldonium's) use and implications.
"From the athletes that are under suspension with us, two of them could have made it to the Rio Olympics if they were clean. Their condition was good. I cannot say more than this."
Meldonium increases blood flow and is used to treat heart conditions. It was developed in Latvia and many of the more than 170 failed tests for meldonium so far have involved Russians. The most high profile is Maria Sharapova.
Ethiopia is also under the spotlight for meldonium.
Abeba Aregawi, the Ethiopia-born former 1,500-meter world champion who competes for Sweden failed an out-of-competition test for meldonium this year. She reportedly failed the test in Ethiopia. Also, 2015 Tokyo Marathon winner Endeshaw Negesse has been linked to a positive test for meldonium, although Ethiopian authorities have not said if Negesse is one of their athletes being investigated.
Ayalew attended meetings on Friday in Addis Ababa with WADA deputy director Rob Koehler. WADA's Africa director, Rodney Swigelaar, also traveled to Ethiopia.
WADA has urged Ethiopia to strengthen its anti-doping program and conduct more tests following serious problems in East African neighbor and fellow distance running power Kenya, which was declared non-compliant by WADA last month and had its drug-testing agency suspended.
Ethiopian authorities said in April they would attempt to test up to 200 athletes by November. So far, 37 of those doping tests have been carried out, Ayalew said. The results weren't yet available, he added.