Abebe Bikila 1960, 64& Feyisa Lilesa 2016


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Ethiopian Lilesa won Tokyo Marathon in 2 hr 6 min 56 se

9 Runners Under Investigation, Ethiopian Antidoping Agency Says - The New York Times

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Nine Ethiopian runners, five of them "top athletes," are under investigation for doping, the general secretary of the country's anti-doping agency said Monday, raising fears of another damaging scandal for track and field in the run-up to the Rio Olympics.
Solomon Meaza told The Associated Press that the Ethiopian Anti-Doping Agency is investigating the five athletes he described as high-profile after they returned "suspicious" results in tests.
"To be clear, some banned (substances) were found in the five athletes," he said. "They will be summoned and asked if they have taken any banned substances (or) chemicals."
Solomon declined to name the athletes, give details of the substances they are suspected of using, or say when tests were carried out as investigations are ongoing. He stressed that more tests were needed to establish any guilt.
But he said: "There is a real concern when the upcoming investigations arrive."
The IAAF has requested contact details for the other four athletes under suspicion and the governing body is investigating them, Solomon said, adding that he has provided the details for those athletes to the IAAF through the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The Ethiopian cases will be another blow to the sport following major doping scandals in Russia and Kenya in the buildup to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August.
Russia was banned from international track and field competition in November after damning allegations of a vast scheme of doping and cover-ups. Kenya is in danger of a similar sanction after four senior track officials were suspended by the IAAF pending investigations into allegations they sought to cover up doping. Kenya also has not fallen in line with global anti-doping rules and faces an April 5 deadline to sort out its failing anti-doping program.
Like Kenya, Ethiopia is a distance running powerhouse and finished in the top five on the medal table at last year's track and field world championships in Beijing with eight medals.
The revelation by Solomon came on the same day the IAAF announced that Ethiopian-born former 1,500-meter world champion Abeba Aregawi failed a doping test and had been suspended pending an investigation. Swedish media reported that Abeba, who now competes for Sweden, failed an out-of-competition test in Ethiopia, where she trains. The IAAF said Abeba had voluntarily withdrawn from competition and asked for her backup "B'' sample to be tested.
A Russian whistle-blower who helped uncover that country's doping program warned last year that Kenya and Ethiopia both had serious problems with athletes using banned substances and should be closely investigated.

Abeba Aregawi: World 1500m champion fails drugs test - BBC Sport

Abeba Aregawi
Abeba Aregawi has won European and world titles at 1500m

World indoor 1500m champion Abeba Aregawi has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for a banned substance.
The Ethiopia-born Swede, 25, failed an out-of-competition test conducted by governing body the IAAF.
Aregawi, who won gold at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow and 2014 World Indoor Championships in Sopot, has requested a B sample be tested.
Britain's Hannah England finished fourth behind Aregawi in Moscow.
There is no suggestion Aregawi's performance in that race is under scrutiny.

What now for Aregawi?

Aregawi ran for Ethiopia at the 2012 London Olympics but began competing for Sweden later that year after being granted citizenship.
She was due to defend her title at next month's World Indoor Championships in Portland, Oregon.
Her suspension also means her place in the Swedish team for the Rio Olympics in August is in doubt.
The Swedish Olympic Committee (SOC) has already withdrawn its financial support for Aregawi.
"The situation regarding her place on the Olympic team is in quarantine as we wait for the result of the B test," added SOC chief executive Peter Reinebo.

Any reaction?

Her Dutch manager, Jos Hermens, told the Expressen newspaper that the news had come as a surprise.
"We can't understand it," he said. "We are trying to work out what has happened. It's very strange."
But Sweden's athletics chief has been pretty scathing.
"It is with dismay and extreme disappointment we have to make this statement," said Stefan Olsson.
"We are totally opposed to all forms of cheating, doping and illicit substances. We have zero tolerance and this is totally unacceptable."

What about her rivals?

Simpson finished second to Aregawi at the 2013 World Championships
Jenny Simpson (left) finished second to Aregawi at the 2013 World Championships

American Jenny Simpson, who was second behind Aregawi at the 2013 World Championships, expressed her "grief" at the news.
In a statement to the New York Times, she wrote: "I'm grateful that the sport is taking steps to catch cheaters and meaningfully deter others from violating the rules in the future.
"Justice begins when someone that stole from the sport isn't going to just get away with it. But I grieve the decision that was made by a skilled athlete, capable of greatness, to take a shortcut."
She added: "I'm hopeful that things might really be changing for the better in our sport and I'm sad it didn't start changing sooner."

Anything else?

It has not been a very good few days for Aregawi.
She has been caught up in a tax row in Sweden after telling authorities she had never lived in the country and therefore was not liable for tax.
She was ordered to pay 11,112 Swedish crowns (£932, $1,299) in back taxes.