Athletics-Ethiopia to impose lifetime bans on drug cheats

Ethiopia, one of five countries the IAAF says is in "critical care" over its drug-testing systems, will impose lifetime bans on drug cheats, the new president of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation (EAF) said on Wednesday.

The Horn of Africa country has for many years dominated distance running along with neighbouring Kenya, but it had its credibility questioned this year when six of its athletes came under investigation for doping.

The EAF subsequently announced that it would carry out tests on up to 200 athletes.

Distance-running great Haile Gebrselassie, who was elected head of the EAF last month amid discontent over mismanagement, told Reuters his administration has adopted a "zero tolerance" approach towards doping.

"Our stand is no excuse towards someone who has cheated. As of today, any athlete who has offended will be hit by a life ban," he said.

The move means Ethiopian athletes who fail tests and are subject to a four-year ban from Dec. 28 onwards will no longer be able to represent the country in any competition.

The punishment is much stricter than the one currently imposed by the International Olympic Committee whose rules stipulate that athletes caught doping can face four-year bans but after serving it they are eligible to compete in any international event, including the Olympics.

Gebrselassie said his aim was to convince the sport's world governing body that Ethiopia was serious in tackling doping and for it to be removed from the list of countries identified by IAAF president Sebastian Coe as in need of "critical care".

Kenya, Morocco, Ukraine and Belarus are other nations in that category.

Russia, meanwhile, is currently banned from all athletics following the discovery of a state-sponsored doping regime and revelations of corruption.

The New York Times reported earlier on Wednesday that officials from Russia's anti-doping agency RUSADA had for the first time admitted there had been an organised conspiracy to dope in the country.

It cited Anna Antseliovich, the acting director general of RUSADA, as making the admission in an interview. RUSADA has since dismissed the report.

Gebrselassie, considered one of the sport's greatest distance athletes, gave up competitive running in March last year.

Nearly unbeatable on the track in his prime, he won the first of eight indoor and outdoor world championship gold medals at Stuttgart in 1993 and went on to hold world records in events from the 5,000 metres to the marathon.

Next Story
LATEST STORIES
Borussia Dortmund beat Real Madrid to sign Swedish sensation Alexander Isak

Borussia Dortmund have beaten Real Madrid to the signing of Swedish sensation Alexander Isak at £8.6million.

Moyes says Januzaj becoming a scapegoat for Sunderland's poor form

David Moyes knows Adnan Januzaj has the ability to be Sunderland’s saviour but the youngster is becoming more of a scapegoat.

Mourinho not a barrier to Rooney’s choice to join Chinese Super League

Jose Mourinho says he will not stand in Wayne Rooney’s way if he wants to finish his career in China, according to the Sun.

Wenger faces touchline ban after Burnley misconduct

Arsene Wenger is facing a touchline ban despite his apology for pushing fourth official Anthony Taylor after he had already been sent off for a furious verbal outburst, according to the Telegraph.

Five things we learned in the Premier League

Diego Costa marked his return to Chelsea with a goal in a 2-0 in over Hull City that saw the leaders go eight points clear at the top of the table while Arsenal moved up into second place after a dramatic victory over Burnley on a weekend where Wayne Rooney became Manchester United's all-time leading goal-scorer.

Cameroon 0 - 0 Gabon: Burkina Faso, Cameroon into Cup of Nations quarters, Gabon crashed out

African Cup of Nations hosts Gabon failed to qualify from the group stages after drawing 0-0 with Cameroon.

More Stories
GUNS BLAZING IN THIKA: KDF to pick squad for national trials next month

Thika barracks comes alive today when Kenya Defence Forces stage their 36th cross-country championships.

Adak and KDN clash over anti-doping role

The Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (Adak) has reacted to Kenya Doctors Network’s (KDN) bid to discharge certain roles in the fight against use of prohibited substances.

EYES ON WORLD CROSS: Prisons to pick squad for national trials

Top guns will battle it out in men’s signature race at the Kenya Prisons cross-country championships at Uhuru Gardens, Nairobi, on Saturday.

ATHLETICS: Bekele sets 02:01:30 marathon career target

Triple Olympic track champion Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest marathon runner in history, said on Wednesday he can shave around 90 seconds off the current world record over the classic 26.2 mile distance before he retires.

KING HAILE TO NAME SOYA WINNER: Who will emerge Kenya’s Sports Personality of the Year tonight? Over to you Gebreselassie

The 13th edition of Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) takes centre-stage tonight at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi.

TOP GUNS BATTLE: Big show as police stage national Cross Country race

Action galore is expected when elite athletes battle at the National Police Service cross country meeting at Ngong Race Course on Saturday.

IAAF officials visit to inspect facilities

Two top IAAF officials visited Kenyatta University on Monday to inspect ongoing renovation of facilities where athletes who will take part in the 2017 IAAF World U-18 Athletics Championship in July will be hosted.

OFFICIALS STILL IN LIMBO: AK urged to intervene on extended suspension of Kenyan officials by IAAF

Athletics Kenya has been asked to intercede on behalf of its suspended officials over the extension of their suspension by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

Doping: AK draws rules on athletes' treatment

Kenya is working to be removed from the Anti-Doping Watch-list ahead of the IAAF World Athletics Championships that run in London on August 4-13.

Kenyan athletes welcome anti-doping initiative

Kenyan athletes on Monday backed a plan for a team of six internationally accredited doctors to take care of the country's top-level runners and be responsible for examining samples in an effort to end a series of doping scandals.

-->
-->