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
Big show in city on Sunday

Nairobi City comes alive when the 15th Standard Chartered Marathon gets underway on Sunday morning.

IAAF fetes world's best tonight

The attention of the athletics world will shift to Monaco tonight as the Mediterranean Principality prepares to host the IAAF Athletics Awards 2017.

Queries on how ‘Tusker’ went flat

Having won a double last season, former Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions were expected to do even better this year.

Is heading the ball harmful?

An English study into whether heading a football can cause brain trauma will begin in January, investigating an issue that has been widely debated since the activity was blamed for contributing to a former star striker’s dementia.

Former Manchester City striker Robinho 'sentenced to nine years in prison for alleged sexual assault'

Former Real Madrid and Manchester City star Robinho has reportedly been sentenced to nine years in prison for alleged sexual assault.

Arsenal team vs Cologne revealed ahead of Europa League clash

Arsenal team vs Cologne revealed ahead of Europa League clash in Germany

More Stories
Big show in city on Sunday

Nairobi City comes alive when the 15th Standard Chartered Marathon gets underway on Sunday morning.

IAAF fetes world's best tonight

The attention of the athletics world will shift to Monaco tonight as the Mediterranean Principality prepares to host the IAAF Athletics Awards 2017.

Ethiopian Athletes sweep medals in Delhi Half Marathon

Two Ethiopians, Birrhanu Legese and his compatriot Alnaz Ayana have pocketed medals in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon on Sunday November 19 morning.

Athletics Kenya launches mountain running program

In recent years, the world has witnessed interest in mountain running and now, Kenya, a powerhouse in the middle and long distance running, has expressed keen interest to venture into the new frontier.

Baringo half marathon: Cheruiyot and Kipkoech wear crowns

Newcomers emerge, top guns fail to impress at Lotto Baringo Half Marathon.

Jepkosgey's new record ratified by IAAF

Joyciline Jepkosgei’s world half marathon record has been ratified by the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF).

Kisumu set to host first Athletics Kenya track and field meeting

This will be one of the events before the planned Commonwealth Games trials

Athletics: Ethiopians to spice up Baringo Half Marathon

Seasoned Ethiopian road runners Habtamu Asefa Wakeyo and Keneni Germame Korme jet in today ahead of this weekend’s Lotto Baringo Half Marathon in Kabarnet, the event’s organisers have confirmed.

Training: Kenyatta University hosting IAAF elite coach course

International Association of Athletics Federation's (IAAF) middle-distance, long-distance and RW Endurance Academy Elite Coach Course is ongoing at Kenyatta University.

Kenyan Kalalei triumphs in Athens Marathon

Samuel Kalalei won the 35th Athens Classic Marathon on Sunday as Kenyan runners dominated the gruelling, largely uphill course by sweeping the top five places in the men's race.